Written by Jo Foster • Published 18th November 2013

Social Media Buzz Reputation

Courtesy of S&S Online Marketing, flickr. com

Is Elina Desaine ‘more confident than the average girl’? I don’t know, perhaps in some ways yes in other ways no, same as everybody. I suppose university students having lots of sex isn’t really a story of any note anymore. The line in her story about the effect of her accolade of future employers did stand out to me though. She says the award shows her confidence and that hopefully, any future boss might see it as a bit of fun. It’s interesting that in the midst of all this activity her friends have characterised the consequences of her behaviour as what her future employers might think. Not now, not next year, but maybe in ten or fifteen years’ time.

The actions of the Conservative Party last week do demonstrate that information, once out there in the public domain not only stays with you but that you are held accountable for it for a very long time. The controversial thing about the wiping a decade of information from their website is that it contained promises they made pre-2010, promises on inheritance tax, NHS reorganisation and the commitment to going green. Or ‘Vote Blue Go Green’ in their own words. They say it makes navigating their website easier, which could be factually true. But as the title of Tony Blair’s memoirs reflect, politics is a ‘journey’ and it’s better to recognise the path(s) taken by our representatives.

Elina Desaine – the ‘ShagatUni’ 2013 Horniest Student was all over the press on Friday for her title. Her weekly sexual encounters are well recorded and pictures of her in underwear, on nights out and even naked are all there to see. We can vote with our feet on this sort of thing – we don’t have to read it or see it or by it and we can live and let live and enjoy free access to information. I wouldn’t judge another woman for this. But I do feel sorry for her that she will forever have this in her past. Same as Paris Brown who paid a heavy price earlier this year for previous acts of foolishness.

As someone who is relatively new to social media in my own name, I am both tortured and fascinated by it and its consequences for better and for worse. In truth, wiping ten years of speeches etc. doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that they didn’t happen and more importantly, that people can’t find them if they want to. And rightly so. Public life means high standards and openness and accountability to the public. However, the age we live in, private life can mean exactly the same. History is history, plain and simple and it’s there for all to see. I for one would be careful about who gets to see what…