For the last decade, my daily routine has started with my sitting down at my computer and checking my email. As the years have gone by I've started checking other things like Twitter and Facebook. I check my website, I check a few forums, and I check my morning webcomics. If I have an interesting thought, I tweet it out. If I want to get up on a soapbox and rant about something, I open up my blog's admin page.
Now, this is what I've been doing for quite a while, but I'm a bit weird. What's changed over the years is, if you're under the age of thirty-five at least, you're probably doing the same thing too.
Think about how many of your friends share everything they do over either Facebook or Twitter. Think about how many photo galleries have now gone online. Think about how many of them post Youtube videos of "interesting" things they've seen. Think about how often people have to worry about drunken college photos online when they go in for job interviews.
It's becoming absolutely normal to live online. I've always been a bit overexposed on the internet, but it seems like the world is now catching up with me.
There's a generation growing up right now that will never know a world without the internet. This level of sharing and interacting will be (if not is) completely normal, and it will be their vision of how American society interacts. This didn't happen with a revolution. This didn't happen overnight. It started slowly, and isn't done happening yet.
There will be a point where everyone will have embarrassing college photos online, and a drunken snapshot won't be a surprise let alone a problem for job interviewees.
Maybe not everyone will go so far as to put videos of themselves online every day, but as the world moves forwards, contribution to the "global hive mind" (as I jokingly refer to the internet) will continue to grow. A 20 year old will easily be able to see what his grandmother was thinking on a random day when she was 17. We're putting our memories online, and if we can maintain the data over the years, everyone will know everything about everyone... and none of it will be interesting still.
But the important part is that it will be there.
I know one thing about the job interviews. When I'm the person behind the desk(hopefully I will be at some point). I know I'm going to be the guy who isn't offended by tattoos, piercings, and drunken photos of facebook. In fact I just might be the guy who hires the person who makes me laugh. I guess this internet age affects this generation more than it does the next because it will be our fight that changes it.
An interesting sidebar to all of this is that huge portions of business are conducted online now, to the point that I'd guess 3/4 of the businesses in my town have a website. That includes little ma and pa shops and even people who work from home in the 'informal' economy.
The end result, at least as far as I can tell, is that employers may look at your facebook or twitter account or dig up embarassing photos, or angry rants from 15 years ago, but they are more likely to give it a pass than they used to be.