A digital tattoo refers directly to the concept of “what you post online, stays online- forever”. Just like a real tattoo, anything we post online stays there forever. It is important that everybody who uses the internet, especially kids have a good understanding of what a digital tattoo is, and how it can be a benefit or a detriment.
Our digital tattoo is what others see when they google our names, an can be a way to present insightful information about who you are with creative blog posts, an online resume or multi-media content that showcases a persons skills and capabilities. On the other side of that coin however, results can show a more side of a personality if the content they post has not been selected with care.
When it comes to online reputations the focus seems to be mostly on educating high school and university students about responsible posting, but the lesson is valuable for people of any age, always think before you post.
Many people don’t realize the impact that the things they post and share online can have on their online reputation, and just how they can potentially jeopardize their futures. Photos shared, comments made, and even videos and blog articles we “like”, can linger forever, being saved and shared by other people, or even being retained by the app or the site itself.
What The Content You Post Says About You
Content posted by adults is less likely to have an effect on their future, the people they meet or the relationships they develop, however, for younger people there could be more significant consequences to the material they post online. Children being raised in the digital age will have a far more expansive digital tattoo than adults, as so much of their everyday life is recorded and shared on social media, even before they are old enough to use the internet themselves, as their parents share photos, post stories and discuss their lives in public forums.
Unfortunately for the younger generations, not much room is left for error in regards to indiscretions, as there is lasting proof.
Having a digital tattoo can be a good thing, when time and care is taken to ensure it is crafted in a responsible and positively portraying manner. Care should be taken to ensure your online reputation is a positive reflection of who you are, any notable achievements and accomplishments, and other positive attributes that you would want someone to know about you, especially potential employers. The key is maintaining complete control over who can find information about you, and what they can find.
Tips For Maintaining a Positive Digital Tattoo
Education needs to start early, with teaching children about their online reputation, ideally before they are able to post and be active on the internet alone, but the tips here can be implemented at any age, and are a good way to ensure you are putting positive content out there for the world to see.
- What Does It Look Like? Try and consider before posting the impression that it will leave, and what it says about the person posting it, yourself. You may post things that are humorous or intended to be light-hearted, but come across as inappropriate when someone you are trying to impress, such as an educator or potential employer, sees it.
- Am I Giving Away Too Much Information? Providing a wealth of personal details and information about yourself is not always wise. Your posts can be used to make you to target of bullying or harassment, or you could be providing unsavory people with a great amount of information about yourself, and your life.
- Does It Pass the Billboard Test? When deciding whether or not something is suitable to post online, ask yourself this question “Would I be comfortable seeing this about myself on a billboard?” If the answer is no, or if you wouldn’t be completely comfortable with everyone in your life, including parents, grandparents, children and extended family, than chances are it shouldn’t be posted.
Even after posting, there are things that can be done to protect your privacy, and control who is seeing your content. The following tips will help you ensure what you post reaches the right eyes, and that unwanted lookers will be kept to a minimum.
- Privacy Settings –are pretty standard on most social networks, websites and apps. Users can control what information is shared, and who it is shared with.
- Be Cautious About Online Friends – the best online friends are real world friends. Keep your network small and personal, this will also help better control what content is being shared about you on behalf of s.
- Remove and Report – you may regret posting something after the decision has been made, so it is important to know how to remove your comments and posts from all of the sites and apps you are active on. In addition, if someone has posted something about you that is unfavorable or you are uncomfortable with the content can be reported.
- Be Aware Of Your Online Reputation – know what your online presence looks like, take the time to Google yourself every so often, and carefully review your social profiles.
- Shut It Down – when you are finished with a social network or website always properly delete or shut down your profile.
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