One day only the most boring will prosper in politics
“@Marty yeah that gear was craaazy, can Dezza get anymore of it? #bestnightever.”
That’s the kind of crap that’s going to get some poor MP de-throned in twenty years time.
Journalists and political nasties are going to have a field day in 2030, with millions of Facebook photos, status updates and tweets to trawl through.
Empires will fall in (up to) 140 characters and long-forgotten photos will burn careers.
You won’t have to jimmy open your rival’s closet to find their skeletons. You’ll be able to Google them.
Today’s jagerbombs are next decade’s headlines.
It’s already happening – just ask Stephanie Rice.
Wyatt Roy’s Facebook page was undoubtedly combed for photo evidence of debauchery by journalists and opponents alike when he rose to fame.
Thankfully for Wyatt, they didn’t find it.
What they did find was evidence of first-class lameness and a guy whose idea of fun probably involves matching socks to sandals.
No doubt the little brat beat them to the punch and untagged all those incriminating photos of him egging cars and driving without P-plates.
The pollies of yester-year and today are probably grateful Facebook didn’t exist way back when.
Unless one of them was stupid enough to scrawl a sexist jibe on their mailbox or send in a photo of their best drunken naked handstand to their local rag, they would’ve been fairly safe.
If Facebook existed in the 60s, Bob Hawke would’ve been screwed.
Kevin Rudd, however, would be in the clear, given his early start in politics when he was elected mayor of Nerdsville at 17.
While most of us have learned to be extra cautious when it comes to social media, is it too late for some?
Has the future heir of Apple already posted the stripper snap that’ll see the rest of his board pick his bones clean?
Has 2034’s Attorney-General already made a funny-at-the-time remark on Facebook about that bad batch of pills that saw him spew his guts up in front of what’s-her-name at a music festival?
I can already see Doc Brown grabbing Marty McFly by the shoulders and yelling: “Great Scott Marty! It’s about your kids!”
“Oh crap is right. They found that tweet Marlene posted about how she drank a Smirnoff Double Black through her eyeball.”
“What? But that was funny!”
“Not in 2045 it isn’t… especially when you’re the Secretary of State.”
Yep, there’s going to be a lot of big shots wishing they had a Delorean handy so they could hit the delete button on their online past.
Or maybe things won’t quite pan out that way.
Maybe all of our Facebooks and Twitters will be so jam-packed with potentially controversial stuff that we’ll all neatly pile our stones in the corner of our glass houses.
It might just be that we judge our peers on the men and women they are, instead of the kids they were.
The “can you believe so-and-so had three beers in 2002” routine may have gotten a little old by then.
Our future leaders, knowing their digital past will probably catch up with them anyway, might admit to smoking a joint or two when they were 16.
It may even be a positive thing.
A leader who casually admits to their sordid early twenties is probably better equipped to form policies to combat unsafe binge drinking and drug abuse than some pious teetotaller who thinks rum destroys the soul as well as the liver.
In any case, Wyatt Roy needn’t worry… unless they find out he forgot to include a bibliography in his Year 10 history essay.
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