Digital Etiquette: Your Brand and You

When stepping into the online community the first thing you do is you start making your online identity. In fact you don’t even have a choice in this so hopefully this is the first thing you’ve come across because knowing what you’re doing will impact your future. These days everything you do online is tracked, compiled and then judged. The ‘judging’ step in this process is the one you need to worry about.

Your first decision in the online space should be: “How do I want to present myself?” The first decision you should make from this question is whether you want to be professional and censor yourself or if you want to be unprofessional and be free on the internet. Many of you may think being free sounds like the obvious choice but unfortunately you need to remember you are being monitored. The world now looks you up online whenever they decide it is necessary. People want to know who you are and some people want to know you are a good responsible adult. People might look for you online when you apply for jobs, go on a date or meet new people. This is where you need to ask yourself again: “How do I want to present myself online?”

Being professional online allows you to look responsible to people. They won’t find pictures of your drinking, statuses of you complaining or random internet fights you’ve gotten yourself into. This might also mean they won’t be able to get to know the real you and you might not get to express yourself the way you want online. So this choice might be the best when applying for jobs in business industries or corporations where they want someone who works hard, is responsible, and does the right thing.

But say you want to show off your personality. This isn’t always a ‘wrong’ choice when entering the online world. Sometimes your personality is the best thing you’ve got. Be creative, be free, and show everyone who you are. Many employers may not appreciate this and say “He doesn’t know how to be responsible and keep his mouth shut,” but you may find many people relate to the things you share and may be more interested in you because of it. Some companies want people with a personality and as long as they don’t see you complaining about work, goofing off, or partaking in illegal activities they might be happy to find that you love the same TV show they like or that you spend your free time writing or running.

Your online voice may be more powerful than you know. If you meet the right people online you can even get a job through the internet. Whether you want to keep your mouth zipped shut online or have your opinions flying through cyberspace the great thing about the internet is that no one can stop you. This is a place where you can be free to decide who you want to be.

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