Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
– Will Rogers
I read an article recently that some onliners may have to literally change their names because so much of what they posted online, particularly in their younger years. would not be viewed as complimentary (especially by potential employers).
Apparently many assume everything they post just diminishes into the nether-lands. That’s not the case — it’s all out there for perpetuity.
What Happens Online, Stays Online…
Having been online from the start I have always been cognizant of this fact. I’ve kept my personal life off-line — except for enough to let folks know I am a real human being when they visit my Websites. An example here on my WordPress Consulting site…
I’ve never flamed on forums, sworn in e-mails, gone tit-for-tat with anyone online. Ever. Being right or proving my point was never something that was important to me. Not to say I haven’t done some things off-line that could have been funny fodder on YouTube and Faceybook or that I don’t have opinions that some would disagree with, I just never felt the need to publicize any of that online.
With that said, clearly I am an odd-ball. Not exposing personal, private or what some may view as controversial info when online is something that has always come natural to me. But for those who feel the need to share every bit, every moment, every thought, here are some tips you may want to consider.
Because… What Happens Online, Stays Online!
- Never type anything in an e-mail that you wouldn’t mind your Mother reading.
- Before posting a photo, ask yourself if you don’t mind it being publicly available online in 10, 15, 20 years from now.
- Never post potentially embarrassing photos of others without their permission.
- There is no room for profanities online. Never saw a sentence or conversation that could not have been relayed without swearing.
- Don’t type anything that you would not say face-to-face.
- Be careful about sharing personal contact and location information with strangers.
- Never share contact or location information of others without their permission.
- Try to type like you made it out of grade school. Potential employers will appreciate that.
Yes, I get that some folks live online, that’s fine. Just realize the potential for abuse, misunderstandings and negative perceptions — years from now.
How will you be viewed down the road by those who don’t yet know you that well? They’ll be able to see the choices you made about how you communicated and what you thought was important or humorous. That just may come back to haunt you…
Control your own destiny or someone else will. ~Jack Welch