The Internet: Powerful Persistence

I’ll never forget the morning after Districts—one of my biggest high school golf matches of the year, well, actually ever. I just finished one of my worst matches, came home, and went to bed to sleep off my frustration. I awoke the next morning only to find this front and center of the sports page of The Press Journal:

FORT PIERCE – Vero Beach High School’s MacKenzie Fanaro throws up her hands in frustration after teeing off during the District Golf Girls District Golf Tournament at Gator Trace Golf Club.

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To say I was embarrassed is an understatement. After a few days, my (not-so) glamorous shot made its way into the recycle bins of most Vero Beach homes, except for the few people that were “kind” enough to cut out the article and save it for me.

Why might I ask?

It was the persistence of the Internet that foiled my plan of letting this embarrassing snapshot blow over. Six years later, Google my name and this pouty fifteen-year-old face is one of the first things you will see. To this day, people make snarky comments about the picture.

Instances like this lead me to question the persistence of blogs, social networking sites, and the Internet as a whole. Information and images on the Internet have staying power unlike print and other forms of media. What are the consequences of the Internet’s persistency and is it ethical for lasting content or images to be posted without the person’s consent?

danah boyd, an esteemed researcher of social networking sites, believes teens and users of social networking sites are aware of the level persistence that comes with Internet and use the web accordingly. From drunken Facebook photos to Twitter slanders, it seems that boyd is making an overarching statement.

Are Internet users aware that the persistence and staying power of the web is far more powerful than the delete key?

Six years later, I am still throwing my hands up in the air in frustration over the powerful persistence of the Net.

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