Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Highest of Profiles

D'oh! IMs and e-mails that embarrass | CNET

Embarrassment unites all people. We follow different paths in this life; all too often these paths are determined by our start point. But in the best of situations, we have enough options to walk the path that makes us happiest. Many people equate fame with happiness; the smart play is to take another look at that reasoning. The power, influence, money, admiration and respect that can come with fame sure sounds attractive, but among its costs are the increased risk of embarrassment. I may not be famous, and neither are you; but the chances of us embarrassing ourselves on a large scale are fairly low. (Not impossible, mind you - ask Claire Swire, that numa-numa fellow, and Steve Bartman - but low.)

Enter e-mail, and embarrassing e-mail. The link that follows - which, of course, has explicit language and links, more on such things in a later post - is all about higher profile embarrassing e-mails. Most of them were sent by people who were generally famous at the time of their writing; their authors really should have known better.

Then again, think about it. Is there an e-mail or two in your past that you'd like to take back?

I think most everyone can say that there is. Whether it's a passive aggressive emotional outburst to an ex-significant other, a gloating missive about an ethical or legal misdeed, or a furious venting of office frustration, I think most everyone reading this - and writing it - has a skeleton or two in their closets.

There. Now we're all united in fear of our own pasts. Where are those ill-advised e-mails, now? And are you still as upset as you were yesterday that you're not rich and famous?

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