Kiss and Tell 2.0

While tirelessly working on a PowerPoint presentation for my Foreign Policy class this past Friday, I was forwarded another slew of slides chock-full of facts, images, and evaluations. However, these were far from academic.

As I clicked a link in the email, I was led to an article detailing one Duke University female’s fake senior thesis, titled “An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics.” Highlighting her late-night (and decently drunken) romps with several Duke athletes, the writer created slides with Facebook pictures of the men, followed by detailed (and rather defamatory) evaluations of their performances.

The fact that this girl slept with a few lacrosse and baseball players isn’t really an issue. I mean, it’s college even the dweeb who has the roley backpack gets lucky during his four years on campus. What’s wrong here is that this woman’s PowerPoint presentation was forwarded to a few friends, who forwarded it to a few other friends, and the thing went viral.

Welcome to the new generation of Kissing-and-Telling.

As the “Subjects” were leaving Shooters or booty-texting Duke’s very own sexperimenter, I doubt they anticipated their experiences being relayed all over the Internet. However, nowadays it seems you never know what to expect after 4am sexcapades. Beyond waiting for that flirtatious banter-sparking text, you have to worry about what is being said to his friends or what pictures could surface of you two going at it in the corner of the bar on FB.

The amount of information that people share about their personal lives via the Internet is insane. And the effects can be tragic. It’s one thing to vaguely or generically share some weekend anecdote, but going into stark detail with names and pictures is becoming more and more common.

Bitter exes, scorned hookups, and bruised egos swamp blog sites with their woes and share embarrassingly intimate secrets while name-dropping their partner. In a state of rage or rejection, people often turn to their computers for a therapy session. And once it’s in print, it’s tough to truly squash its existence after the moment of passion has passed.

It’s one thing to bash your hookup to a few girlfriends over pancakes the next morning. But, it’s a complete other to do it on some public forum. Remember, your (printed/published) words do have repercussions. Not only can you face legal action for defamation of character but you can also genuinely hurt the people involved.

The Duke University student that created the above mentioned PowerPoint embarrassed the people in the document, herself, and her university. Sure, she never knew it would become an Internet sensation. But, in the age of  Gmail, Facebook and Smartphones, something minor can become HUGE in a matter of seconds.

So, before you take to your blog, Twitter, or a blank Microsoft PowerPoint document, stop and think about what you’re doing. If you feel like venting, go to a friends and talk about it, cry about it, laugh about it. But, in the heat of the moment, do NOT blog about it in vivid detail.

Locker room talk happens. Morning brunch gossip happens. People talk, it’s normal. But normal people don’t make 40+ slides. Sure, the PowerPoint presentation was an interesting look into the life of a jersey chaser. But, how would she have felt if the boys had teamed up and responded with a slideshow sharing their own personal evaluations of her performance with each of them. Mortified? Shamed? Embarrassed beyond words?

What do you think? When is too much info just too much?

Candy Dish: Snooki’s Gonna Be an Author
Candy Dish: Snooki’s Gonna Be an Author
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