Online Reputation and your Digital Tatoo
Here at BTCB our main focus is around increasing awareness and education levels around Cyberbullying. We strongly believe that education on the subject matter is the only way to combat the plague that is cyberbullying. Unfortunately, we have recently seen that cases of cyberbullying have now outpaced those of ‘traditional’ offline bullying.
One of the core messages we try to put across to the children, young people, teachers and parents we speak to is that if you partake in cyberbullying, as a youngster or otherwise, it’s on your digital footprint. It becomes a part of your digital tattoo and becomes a permanent part of your online reputation. As with skin tattoos, even if you get them lasered off, you are left with some sort of scar. Engaging in cyberbullying will also leave a scar, a permanent reminder of how you once acted.
Online reputation management is a subject we have been speaking about for some time now. Our founder Wayne Denner based in the UK has been pushing the message of taking control of your online reputation for a couple of years now. And it seems that work is finally starting to take hold. As per his post on his personal blog – One in four calls about online reputation – the UK safer internet centre has said that 25% of cases reported are now relating to people’s online reputation.
This is both good and bad. The good – the subject of online reputation is getting more exposure, so the awareness levels are going up. The bad – 25% of reported cases are related to online reputation!
So what can you do?
Well we have two monikers that we try to abide by here at Beat The Cyberbully. Stop | Think | Post and Take Time To Think – keep an eye on our Facebook page and you will see some visuals coming your way with these messages in them. Whilst actually very simple, they can have a huge effect on your online reputation. If you do actually take time to think about what you are about to make public to the world (especially if you haven’t configured your privacy settings correctly) and you literally stop after typing, take even a second to think about the content, and then post. You give yourself just enough time to maybe reign in your anger, think twice about how funny that post really is, realise that it actually is quite offensive (especially if taken out of context) and maybe not hit that post/send button.
Another way to look at it is to think ‘Would I say this in person?’ if not, don’t say it online! Otherwise you are going to end up with an indelible mark on your online reputation. One that you may never get a chance to actually explain in the future. People make snap judgements all the time. We’ve mentioned it before, and it’s a cliché for sure, but you do only get one chance to make a first impression. The problem that will befall many, especially millennials, is that you might not even be physically present when you a re making that first impression. What people find online about you, true or false, shapes their perception of you. As humans we are also becoming less amenable to giving people a second chance.
We are not saying don’t post anything, but like most things that matter, you need to take care of your online reputation. It’s going to play a bigger part in all our lives from young children to grandparents. To take care of it, you need to think about creating positive content that resonates with you and you would want associated with your name, when someone inevitably Google’s you.
You Online Reputation Matters – take care of it.