A news article that was published yesterday suggest this Angelfire page from 1999 was Facebook CEO first attempt at web design/development.
True or not, and it could be an elaborate hoax, it is a good reminder that the web is not a shifting amorphous blob that will swallow and dissolve those things that you don’t keep updated.
All those pictures you post to Facebook, Instagram; all your witty and pithy comments on Twitter, or your extreme political comments on CNN or Fox that you think are masked. Every fumbling attempt at hosting a web page. All these things can be captured and stored, and most often are. A large repository of sites already exist for public use(The Wayback Machine).
Not that I want to fear monger you into thinking you should submit anything onto any page ever again. What I hope is that those news agencies running this story for the larger public to consume would say(instead of poking fun at a very rich guy for something he did when 15) is that we should be all mindful of our output onto the web. When publish something on the internet(and make no mistake, regardless of your security settings on where every you post, it is publishing) try to think of what would happen if it was on the front page of the news outlets. Or run on the jumbotron in New York Times Square.
There was a time, not too long ago, when the digital realm was another place. Where who you were in ‘real’ life didn’t matter. Those were the picket white fences of the internet days. You are no longer separate from your digital profile. There are very few jobs these days that don’t include some level of digital interaction. I am tracking you when you visit this site. Not for malicious reasons, but to know how people get to my site and how they use it. Almost every site does at some level.
I imagine that you are mindful of how you interact with other people in ‘real’ life. You are aware of the face you are presenting to someone and how they might see you. Perhaps it is time we expect that of online interactions. And when someone we interact with doesn’t live up to those expectations, we can chose not to interact with that person. Real life is part digital now, act like it.