Awhile back there was some discussion on separating your Scouting life with your “Normal” life. I argued that given the Scout oath and law there is no real way that (at least I) could separate the two. As we have negotiated our way through this online maze and many of us have developed an online presence protecting that identity is important. I am not talking about protecting bank accounts.. I am talking about protecting character.
It dawned on my today as I was checking my twitter account (@smjerry) and noticed some of the people who follow me. Now I am not going to go into a list of who’s who, I think that would be tacky.. not only that, but you can see it for yourself if you know how to use twitter. Based on twitter, I figured the same is true for Facebook and the blog. Now I know that the blog does pretty well. 73,960 views for the 857 posts. I have said it before that I am not a numbers guy.. but all of that is to say that people are reading what I write, watching the video’s I post on YouTube and checking in via twitter and Facebook. Sometimes I wonder why, but then I check my twitter account and note that I follow a bunch of folks and care about what they have to say. I read many blogs and spend a fair amount of time learning from other backpackers on YouTube.
So I feel it is important to watch what I say, post, type, and respond to. At the end of the day this all becomes a record of my character. Again, there is no separation between the various parts of my life.
Before I get slammed with emails… let me assure you I am not bucking for Sainthood. I am just a man, but I am a man that believes in the Oath and Law. As much as I believe in the Golden Rule and all of the other positive moral codes that have I have been introduced to in my life. What I know for sure is that people do watch what you do and what you say and on the internet, given an anonymous identity when responding, or at least the fact that face to face contact is limited, people will say and write things that will hurt you if you are not careful.
I received an email recently from a guy that asked why I did not post one of his comments. Well, the bottom line is this.. what he had to say did not add to the conversation. Politely saying.. it did not fit on my blog. I appreciate the guy taking the time to shoot an email my way, but I get to pick and choose how my character is going to be advertised.
You see, I control my character. I am the only person that can give it away or lose it. The things that I do, say, type, and post, tell my story and I need to protect my character, especially on the internet.
If anything all of this “exposure” has forced me to be more aware of how the Scout Oath and Law fit in my life. It is not that I am better than anyone, or looking for special treatment. I am just aware that my character is not for sale and I surely am not going to risk it on someone who has less control of their values and character.
I would rather have my bank account robbed than my character. I can always earn, I can not repair damage done on the internet.
Protect your online identity.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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