When curses come home to roost, often they do so long after the one who cast them has left the farm. Such as when an investigation knocks and retrospect answers. No one is learning this firsthand better than Brett Kavanaugh, former White House Staff Secretary and Supreme Court nominee swimming in hot water after the revelation of sexual assault allegations more than 36 years old.
The alleged victim—professor Christine Blasey Ford, claims Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party back in high school. In wake of the Senate Judiciary Committee agreeing to some of her conditions to testify, much of Kavanaugh’s past has been dug up as the center of scrutiny.
Exhibit A is the revelation of his high school yearbook and many eyebrow-raising photos and captions found inside. One of which reads “100 Kegs or bust,” beneath of clear photo of kegs that imply an unapologetic party culture at Georgetown Prep, where Kavanaugh attended. Another example, “Prep parties raise question legality.” Or even a quote posted on Kavanaugh’s classmate’s senior page, who was allegedly present during the assault, that read: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs,” according to CNN.
It is developments like these that have shed new meaning to the saying “watch your back,” because after all, that is where the past lives, and no one’s is a clean slate.
Generations Y and Z are the next two generations scheduled to join the workforce and with this comes a risk not often considered. In a world where documentation is everywhere, so are the means of accessing it.
Social media has sought and conquered the lives of most in the first world. As a result, its presence has led many to take to its platforms in order to share facets of their lives that used to not be possible on the scale it is now, including photos, videos, articles and so much more. Basically opinions, one way or another. And they will remain there only as long as it takes for a user to delete them. And sometimes it is already too late.
According to Business News Daily, it has already become common practice for employers to do their own investigating into potential candidates, starting often with their Facebook profiles. The thought process being that a person tends to reveal their true colors on social media. Therefore, if one stop provides all of the evidence an employer needs to make a decision on said person, it can be just as beneficial as it can detrimental.
The main problem involves users not prepared to think that far ahead when starting to use social media, nor others when it comes to interpreting the past. Sometimes the court of public opinion, courtesy of social media, can get carried away, as indicated by The Charlotte Observer and the outrage that caused NASCAR driver Conor Daly to lose his sponsorship with Lilly Diabetes after news surfaced of racist comments his father made before he was even born.
Or Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn who has since apologized for pedophilia jokes made over ten years ago, excusing them as immaturity.
Or New York Times editorial board member Sarah Jeong, berated for weeks following a string of anti-white tweets.
Similar outrage is indicative of Kavanaugh’s current standing as well. Not because the yearbook evidence speaks to him definitively assaulting Ford as alleged, but because when uncertainties like this are brought to the forefront, bad press does no favors for the accused.
Unfortunately, while no one is excluded from bad decisions one day returning for justice, young adults especially share this stereotype above others. As a result, they are more prone to being affected by this problem, more likely to have their careers stunted or ruined because of it, but also, more equipped to fix it before it is too late. Social media could be everyone’s yearbook, so take this not as a warning to prompt paranoia, but a plea for smart action.