Think The Scarlet Letter doesn’t apply in today’s modern society?
The Internet makes public branding and humiliation easier, faster and more global in scope.
There is a law that requires the “Oklahoma Department of Health to publish data online on all abortion patients — including the woman’s race, marital status, financial circumstances, years of education, number of previous pregnancies, and her reason for seeking the abortion. Doctors who fail to provide such information will be criminally penalized and stripped of their medical licenses.” http://tiny.cc/AttysCounsel178
This public punishment is also known as a Scarlet Letter Law. Even someone who only read the Cliffs Notes knows the humiliating public punishment Hester Prynne was forced to endure. Unfortunately, Hawthorne’s novel is as relevant today as it ever was.
When celebrities commit “indiscretions” their sins are made public by nature of their personas. Those moments of carelessness stay with them, not only because of who they are, but also because the internet allows information to be recalled immediately and perpetually. Hester is able to rehabilitate herself in the eyes of her community, but when she finally removes her label, her scarlet letter, her daughter does not recognize her. People become what they have done. If you do something now and you are not famous and do not live in Puritan Massachusetts do you have anything to worry about? YES!
Start acting like the person you want to be with the job you want to have.
The internet enables your community to brand you based on the information you provide them. DO NOT GIVE YOUR COMMUNITY AN EXCUSE TO BRAND YOU!
Hester was burned by the “red-hot brand” of her punishment, but your personal brand, the one that you have worked hard to create (you should start doing that now…add it to your list), can be altered and damaged by others.
You must take control of your brand, of the you you want to become. Review everything you put online. Set up privacy settings on your website, your blog, your Facebook page. Employers will search and use anything they find to continue their evaluation of you. They will not only use your resume, cover letter, interview and references to make hiring decisions.
If you create those professional marketing tools and then have even one thing online that is not professional or that can in any way damage the image you hope to portray you are doing yourself and your career a disservice.