Sunday, May 2, 2010

Trolling For Transparency

We’re not sure what’s worse – having to learn about something we never thought we needed to know, or coming to grips with the verifiable truth that our private pursuits are being systematically archived for future use against us.

As corporate America continues to tighten its chokehold on the nation’s workforce by installing a battalion of Trolls on every Bridge (see definition), we’re getting a crash course in what publicists have known all along; namely, managing our public image is a full time job.
In the rear view mirror we saw a time, not very long ago, when an impressive resume’, written referral letters and a great personal interview would reward those in search of suitable employment with a hired position commensurate with education and experience. The times, however, are clearly a’changin’, because what we see now are invasive corporate Trolls making damaging judgment calls based solely upon an applicant’s on-line social life … and oftentimes without even confirming that the screened profile under review actually belongs to the applicant, and not to some random unknown who just happens to have a similar name.

While contemporary society works hard to exonerate its dark side by pretending the shadow doesn’t exist, corporate America is busy working in the shadows trying to sustain a hypocritical double standard of 'full transparency'. This shady approach has not only created a unilateral opportunity for the corporations making all of the rules to micro-manage every worker’s life under the pretense of smart business, it has also given its Trolls the power to kick off of the bridge any poor wretch who has the misfortune of being virtually connected to the wrong “friend”.

Now that we know that we need good credit in order to get the very job that we need to get the good credit, and that we’ll be indiscriminately judged guilty by association for connections with the wrong “friends” (as may be arbitrarily determined by any Troll working the Bridge), we now know that it’s time we take charge of our virtual, and very public, persona.

Well, “WhoIs” may claim to provide an identity for everyone, but the new beta “WhoIsMiniMe” has set its user-friendly platform up to provide the perfect virtual image for everyone.

WhoIsMiniMe” heralds itself to be the foolproof virtual PR platform from which to launch your own personal publicity campaign. "WhoIsMiniMe" allows its users to seamlessly manage and manipulate their alter egos from one simple phone app. False first impressions are effortlessly minimized with the one-dimensional perfect career avatar called the “Soigne’ Self”. The “Soigne’ Self” never sees its shadow (and it never lets anyone else see it either) because all users are directed to deposit their secret, private selves into the avatar aptly called the “Shadow Self”. And ne’er the two shall meet within the matrix.

Frankly, there appears to be no difference between the strategic actions of a private individual who elects to transfer any detractive character traits off of the public records and onto a self-created “Shadow Self”; and the actions of a Lehman Brothers who premeditatively transfers all of its risky assets off the public books and onto the records of its shady alter ego, Hudson Castle.

Word on the street is that necessity is the mother of invention, and it certainly looks as if the survival of personal privacy in today’s voyeuristic climate has necessitated a creative approach to playing the corporate game. So will your virtual, “Soigne’ Self”, be playing the game to win?

Put your best face forward, twice, in our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ February 24, 2010 posting "Seeing Double”.

Joe McPain, TROLL

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