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Discussion Topic #1: Take the time to shape your online rep

Do you spend time shaping your appearance because you care how people see and think of you?

It’s no surprise if you do, as most of us care about our reputations.

But how much time have you spent thinking about your online rep?

Once you have an online presence – whether you have a place where you share photos or videos or post comments – you also have an online rep. What we do online is judged by others in the same way as if we were sharing space in a classroom, cafeteria or party. In other words, what we do online means as much to our reputation as what we do offline. In some ways, it may be even more important.  That’s because social networking allows people to check each other out before they even meet. So, you can see how managing your online reputation is just as important as managing your reputation in person.

You can shape your online rep by taking time to think before you post.

Nowadays, it takes only seconds to snap a photo and upload it or post a comment online. Indeed, expressing oneself to hundreds, or even thousands, has become that easy. But it can be difficult to permanently delete a photo or comment once it’s posted.  While you may be able to delete it in one place, there may be cached versions or copies stored elsewhere beyond your control. Digital storage is cheap and computer memory is plentiful.

So, take care of your online rep by taking the time to think before you click. Think twice about every piece of information before you post it. Make sure you really want it online, because once it’s there, it’s likely there for good.

If you take the time to shape your online rep, you won’t have to worry if people check you out online and pass judgment when you’re not around!

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