Update: Based on Harlan Carvey's comment, I changed the title.
The phenomenon of MySpace and Facebook has swept the world. Social networking is definitely “where it’s at” to use an old phrase.
Other than just being a place to hook-up with friends, strangers with candy and anyone else who gets access to your profile, people are always coming up with new uses for technology:
Jury Selection: Got a list of prospective jurors you want to check out? Look them up on MySpace or Facebook or one of the other social networking sites and see what they are telling the world about themselves.
Pre-Employment screening: Check out that party animal or closet anarchist before you hire them.
Personal injury or workman’s comp. claim: Are they showing pictures of themselves totally partying out or playing football, skiing, skydiving on their profile, in spite of their serious injuries?
Volunteer screening: Want to make sure that new church volunteer isn’t misrepresenting themselves? Is their online profile, if they have one of course, showing them as a person you want hanging around your kids?
Babysitter screening: Ever wonder what your babysitter is really like?
I think if you try you can come up with dozens more ways to use the information you can gather from social networking sites, not only to find out the dirt on people, but to find out the good too.
One thing is for sure: Every new piece of technology that encourages people to interact in a public place will have its dark side. Or in this case, grey side.