Monday, February 20, 2012

Digital Reputation

Teens today will leave a large digital footprint by the time that they graduate from high school.

There are many positive things that are associated with social media.  It connects people in a way that we have never been connected before.  Online communities that allow individuals the opportunity to express their opinions, share their gifts and talents, and stay connected with family and friends are just a few ways that social media is used in a positive way.

However, many teens don't fully understand the consequences that can occur when they don't use social media in a positive way.  When students post pictures of themselves in compromising situations, cyber-bully or make threats, and "like" things that are not positive representations of their character they can end up in some serious trouble.  The internet has a long memory, and a simple Google search of someone's name can bring up things from one's past that could provide a college, university, or potential employer with a poor first impression that could potentially cost them admission into the school of their choice or a job.

It is for this reason that students need to learn how to manage their digital reputation.  Teens must realize that the Internet is public domain and that they are held accountable for everything that they put on the Internet.  Many teens have a hard time grasping the long-term consequences of their actions, which is why it is important for parents to talk to their kids about their digital reputation and monitor their children's Internet activity.

This video was made for parents and it highlights the need for parents to help their children understand the negative consequences that can occur when students don't monitor their digital reputation.  I hope that parents find this video helpful and that it will serve as a springboard to start having conversations about keeping positive digital reputation.

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