Google CEO Eric Schmidt has an interesting solution for teens who may regret posting that questionable picture on Facebook or tweeting about their bad romance: just change your name once you hit adulthood.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt predicts that all young people will one day be ‘entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood’ to protect their youthful indiscretions forever embedded on social media sites. - Social Times
This seemed to shock some. I know I tilted my head for a minute.
Then I remembered our leaders and leading institutions have been our role models in this behavior for decades. Consider:
Esso became Exxon. That was so long ago. I seem to remember it was to minimize its American roots and be more palatable for a global audience.
British Petroleum become BP, but with prettier colors. It still couldn't hide its true colors or the interests of its shareholders.
ATT became Cingular.Then went back to ATT. (I guess they gave up hiding their customer service indiscretions.)
My Mortgage Company. What is their name? It changed so many times (and we had to invest our time to clean up their youthful accounting indiscretions...).
How about politicians?
Arlen Specter was a Republican. Then he realized his youthful indiscretions and called himself a Democrat.
Joe Lieberman was a Democrat. Then he realized his youthful indiscretions and he became...something.
Haley Barbour was a K-Street lobbyist. He represented only the wealthiest corporate interests; they were the only interests that could afford him. He saw the error of his ways. Now he's Governor of the poorest state in the nation: Mississippi. And he represents all the people. Irony.
How about oil supertankers?
Chevron named one of its supertankers the Condoleeza RiceThey realized their youthful indiscretions and changed its name to the Altair Voyager.
The issue isn’t that names are changed to leaving the past of our youthful indiscretions.
Our country was built on leaving our pasts. Our forefathers, who came here under terms and conditions now considered illegal, changed their names, their countries and their jobs in order to embrace their real identities and passions. That included what was previously considered youthful indiscretions of worshipping at the wrong church, running up debts in a failed business, or just the audacity to think a person should have the freedom to pursue their dreams, own their property, have their business, teach their children, be their own king in place where the current King and his traditions, thought otherwise.
No, no. The issue is not changing our names to avoid our past.
The issue is changing our names for something so trivial as posting a picture on Facebook or a poorly timed tweet.