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Our online reputation is the first impression we give to the world. Everything we post online—and everything others post about us—contributes to what others see and how they judge us. While this is good news when the information is positive, it can be disastrous when negative or inappropriate comments or photos find their way online. Young people can't be expected to fully understand the enormity of all this (who can for that matter?), so it's important for families to talk about how to manage their online reputations and for schools to integrate lessons on reputation management into their curriculums.

Listen To: "What Kids Post Online Matters; Maybe Forever"

  • Always think before you share (count to ten before you hit "send" or "post"!).


  • Tell yourself: "There is no delete button on the Internet."


  • Remember, everying you put on the Internet is "persistent, searchable, replicable and can be viewed by vast invisible audiences" [1].


  • Think about replacing silly or immature email addresses with something more mature.


  • Post positive items and accomplishments online for college recruiters and potential employers to see.


  • Be respectful of the photos and information you post about friends - and ask them to give you the same courtesy.


1. boyd, danah (2007), “Why youth (heart) social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life.”

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