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Awkward, or Is It?

Just finished a 3 hour workshop during which several speakers used their laptops to present their materials. As they clicked around looking for files, their desktop wallpaper collages were there for all of us to see. One presenter had photos of her latest beach vacation, another had photos of her daughter riding horses, and her friends sharing drinks during a night out. I actually tried not looking for fear that something truly disturbing would pop up on their screens. I suppose I could launch into an economic screed about externalities and government paternalism, but I think that is a bit crass right now, and actually might give some enlightened progressive the wonderful idea of passing laws forbidding personal images as desktop backgrounds. Rather, I wonder what you guys think of this? Would you change your background before giving a public presentation? Would you subtly want others to see these tidbits of your real life? How would you feel if you were sitting in my chair? Should any of this matter?

2 Responses to “Awkward, or Is It?”

  1. Brian Dunbar says:

    Rather, I wonder what you guys think of this?

    Before a public presentation I …
    * Move desktop icons and chaff to a folder. I call mine ‘cruft’.
    * Change the desktop background to an image that relates to the topic.
    * Change your screen saver to a series of images that relate to the topic.
    * Have a file explorer window handy open to the directory those images are from.
    * Clear browser download history.
    * Close all running apps.

    Now – everything the audience might see is related to my topic. Q+A can be fun if they audience is hip and spins questions from them.

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