Smile, You Are On the World-Wide-Web

Smile You Are On the World-Wide-Web

Yes, within seconds your life can go viral. A simple click of a mouse or tap of a keypad and your digital world is soaring through cyberspace.

The Internet is one of the greatest educational tools yet at the same time we can also say it is not always accurate.

Internet fact verses Internet fiction—Yes, your posts really affect your future!

The old cliché, “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” especially holds true when it comes to online reputation.

From teens to young adults to parents to business owners, everyone should be aware of their digital profile. Maintaining your online reputation needs to be a priority and parents need to help their t(w)eens to understand the impact their Internet activity has on their futures, and teach that what goes up today can haunt them tomorrow.

Poor judgment can lead to major consequences!

According to a 2011 Kaplan study, 80% of college admissions are using search engines and a students’ social media presence to screen their applicants which can mean their college application has now extended into their online presence. This is where the parent concern comes in—what has your teen been doing online that you don’t know about?

According to Career Builders 77% of recruiters are using search engines to review potential job applicants.

I personally think these percentages are probably higher today, however no one should risk losing a job or a first choice college over an immature post or photo online.

Education and awareness are the keys to online safety

We are our child’s advocates, both online and off. Part of online safety is your teen’s digital footprint—it starts the minute you give them their first keypad.

What can we do to help maintain our online reputation?

Here are three tips to start:

  1. Make it a habit to do frequent searches on your child’s name or you can set up alerts in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Twilert in your child’s name.
  2. Own your URL, set up accounts on major social media and business networking websites (this is for adults—such as LinkedIn). Parents, as a gift to your kids for the holidays, consider buying them their name as a URL. It is cost-effective and a great way to start building their online profile. Building a website is easy and fun.
  3. Instill in your child to always think before posting or sending. Post with respect.

Have you thought about your online image? Are you smiling or frowning?

If you could create your digital profile from scratch, what would be your priority?

What would people see first? Please share with us!

Sue Scheff

In her book, Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen, Sue Scheff journals her own difficulties with her teen, as well as offers prescriptive advice for parents at their wit's end. Visit Sue at and for more great information.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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