During this quarantine life, we’re not only seeing more kids online, adults (parents) are also finding social media as a place to communicate with friends and family. What everyone (teens and adults alike) need to realize, is what you post today, can potentially affect your future. Especially if you are someone that will be searching for a job or applying to colleges, it’s imperative that you are mindful with not only your online behavior (during this COVID19 health crisis) but also offline. You don’t want to be someone that is caught on video breaching your state orders, treating someone unkindly at a store or harassing people online. We all have to remember, we’re all a click away from digital disgrace. Your online reputation, today, it typically the first impression someone will have of you.
Pause before you post…
As social media permits all aspects of our personal and professional lives, what you post online can have serious and lasting consequences. In a 2018 CareerBuilders survey, some of the primary reasons that employers didn’t hire job candidates after an internet search was the following:
- 40% Posted inappropriate photographs, videos or information
- 36% Posted information about them drinking or using drugs
- 31% Had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
- 30% Was linked to criminal behavior
- 27% Had poor communication skills
- 25% Bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
- 22% Screen name was unprofessional
- 20% shared confidential information from previous employers
It’s important to note, if you were laid-off, be very careful not to disparage your previous employer or co-workers, or share their information. No one wins. You won’t score any brownie points, as your potential employer will realize if you are doing this to them, there’s a good possibility if things don’t work out with a new company, that same behavior would happen again. Bye, bye to silly emails names. Especially for young people out there, or even adults that haven’t retired their old email addresses, such as chillinbeanz[at]aol.com – it’s time to implement your name as your email account. If it’s already taken, find a professional variation.
As I said, it’s not only more kids online, there are more people in general online. This means more business owners, college admissions and others that could potentially be part of your future. The way you behave online is a reflection of not only your character (online and offline), it truly is the first impression people will have of you.
5 Ways to improve our digital behavior:
- Become an up-stander when you witness cyber-hate.
- Think twice, post once. 15 minutes of humor is never worth a lifetime of humiliation. There’s a difference between clever and cruel – especially online.
- Guidelines for safe sharing online.
- Be constructive with your comments, not combative. (Hate can perpetuates hate, click out if you can’t control yourself). Anger is temporary, the internet is forever.
- Report, flag and talk about harassment. (Make sure your kids know these features too).
We many not be mingling much in person, but there’s no doubt social media is getting a lot of traction. Be sure you’re putting your best digital footprint forward. Online reputation is everything today.