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 (like the one below) into their curriculums.
Today our online reputation is the new 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
Listen To: "What Kids Post Online Matters; Maybe Forever"
On this episode of the podcast series--Their Own Devices-- hosts Marc Groman and David Reitman explore the complex issues around online reputation with Diana Graber, co-founder of Cyberwise, and author of Raising Humans in a Digital World.
Watch (and Share) Our Video
Follow These Tips to Maintain a Great Online Reputation:
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" .
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.”
A "Cyber Civics Lesson on Reputation:
Young people today need to do more than just protect their digital reputations, they need to actually “do positive stuff online” so that their "digital footprints" speak volumes about their character.
We already know that future employers will likely go to the Internet to do background checks on students before entrusting them with jobs. Additionally, colleges and
universities are starting to rely on digital interactions when deciding which students get letters of acceptance. Take Zinch.com for example, it's a social networking-like site that lets students post profiles and links about themselves that are viewed by college admissions officers. Based on the idea that a student is “more than a test score” (really?!?), this site provides a good example of how a digital footprint is our new first impression.
That’s why the 6th graders in our "Cyber Civics"
class at Journey School in Aliso Viejo, CA, take a
proactive approach towards digital footprints by
imagining and designing the ones they want the
world to see in ten years. Judging by the things
they scrawl into their footprint outlines, using a
lesson from Common Sense Media, these kids
imagine themselves as future presidents,
professional soccer players, artists, scientists,
musicians, gamers, fashion stylists and more.