If you are one of the millions of Americans across the country who uses the internet every day, you will appreciate the importance of protecting your online reputation.
This isn’t like protecting your street credibility, but then again, upon further investigation, maybe it is? In the real world, most of us do what we can to keep up a certain appearance that’s commensurate with the lifestyle and status we want to retain and maintain.
Our lives are a constant pursuit of respect and some measure of authority over the things we call our own. In high school, we spent a lot of time trying to fit in and to maintaining that adolescent status quo and to be perfectly honest, this need to belong doesn’t simply vanish in adulthood. But how does it exactly translate to a desire to protecting an online reputation?
More and more adults are partaking in social activities online, specifically social networking. Adults are writing more blogs, commenting on more forums, starting their own YouTube channels, putting up more pictures on facebook and sending out more Tweets on Twitter than ever before. Why? Because we all want to belong.
Because we want to be heard, we want to be acknowledged as clever, funny, knowledgeable and poignant. Because our reputations matter. Time online varies from each person to person ranging from literally just a few seconds to change a status update to hours on end, submitting opinions to forums and message boards, playing games or chatting in chat rooms.
No matter how long you’re online for, you want your time online to leave a sense of “He’s so cool!”or “She’s really good at this!” with whomever you interact – be in now or in the future. But there is a whole other world of reputation that is equally important that you may or may not know exists. When we gave you the numbers earlier about just how many people are online, we didn’t truly breakdown the prospective users into categories so let’s do that now – of the millions of people online at any given time, some of these people will be people you know personally and professionally.
Personally, you may have no problem sharing certain things about yourself and frankly, the anonymity of certain platforms makes people be a lot more uninhibited than they may traditionally be. Now there’s a growing concern that within the droves of people online, your bosses, co-workers, both existing and potential are online too! There will also be people you don’t know who use the internet for no good at all.
The average person has multiple personalities online and sometimes these personalities either get away from us or they overlap – either intentionally or unintentionally. With more bosses and co-workers online, you real life reputation may be tainted by your online reputation if you’re not able to manage your online presence. Can this really affect your life? Well, pulling it back to high school – could something happen at lunch time and not spread like wildfire in the last periods of the day?