Parents What Is Your Kids e-Reputation Online??
William Jackson, M.Ed.
My Quest To Teach #myquesttoteach
Youth, teens and young adults are subject to immature online
decisions, off the cuff comments, profanity laden tantrums
and opinions that create words they will potentially regret
later. Despite the best efforts of parents, teaching children
can be challenging and frustrating especially online behaviors.
Online behaviors add another challenge when parents are not
around to monitor, correct and delete potential problems
that could result from uncharacteristic comments that lead
to embarrassment or worse. Digital reputations are important
especially for future career decisions.
With the increased integration of the Internet into the lives
of youth, teens and young adults and the ease of developing
digital content, kids need to learn about the value of their
developing e-Reputations. Their reputations carry weight both
good and bad. Youth, teens and young adults are leaving digital
trails of content that can influence career, educational,
financial and life-style choices.
Welcome to a new digital age where a young persons e-Reputation
will precede them in life. A new involvement with kids, a focus
of influence, collaboration and cooperation. e-Reputation was
originally used by reputation management companies to manage
a business social status online. Youth today are online more
often and engaged on social platforms, using social tools that
allow content to spread over a wider audience. Videos are
worth thousands of words because of the ability to share them
on multiple platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites are not the dominant
sites for youth. There are many others that contain photos,
video, animations and unique created content. Youth know the
value of staying cloaked, but being hidden will not always be
safe and secure. As politicians, movie producers, law enforcement
members, educators, etc are learning their past reputations
will catch-up with them.
Youth still need to know soft people skills that are needed
in business, education, commerce and industries. Careers still
require engagement in personal relationships so youth need to
know how to network, collaborate, get along with others and
even modify the way they see themselves. Behaviors help to
determine reputations because that is what people remember.
The term, “your reputation precedes you,” is imporant because
people will research each other digitally even after meeting
that person, in person and create bias, build or deny a
relationship based on what is seen online. When researched
online the term is defined as:
“Precede means to come before, and reputation means the
beliefs or opinions held about someone. … If your reputation
precedes you, it means people have heard things about you
before they actually meet you.”
Technology is changing the way youth learn, engage with each
other, share their knowledge and even manage their relationships
online. There are algorithms built into sites like LinkedIn
that match skills, abilities, talents, and other qualities
to pair with employment opportunities. Dating sites are a
classic example of e-Reputations to either attract attention
to potential mates or even one nite stands.
Parents need to Google their children online and research
the online presense that could potentially lead to future
problems and challenges. In a world that is growing into
a foundation of “thought leadership,” and “knowledge
based information.” Shared in the publication PRWeek
the world of social media, journalism by youth, teens and
young adults, they do not have the luxury of being hidden
online. Their content can be found, categorized and
compartmentalized. Because of the Internet we do not live
in a communications vacuum. What you say about others does
matter, who you take a photo with does make a difference
and when recorded on video can be used either to promote
you or destroy you.
The very thoughts of youth are digitally transmitted online
for the world to see and evaluate. The wrong words can
create a reputation that can stop advancement in many
careers and even create controversies years later.
“Black Face” is a hot topic because of the representation
of past racists perceptions and behaviors. Several
high level people have been in trouble from past
behaviors like these that are from their past.
Technology changes everything about how kids learn,
communicate, collaborate, create and innovate.
What kids are learning now will help them be
competitive in the future. Kids need to know the
soft people skills that are still needed in business,
education, commerce and industries. Kids need to know
how to network, get along with others and even change
the way they see themselves.
Advice from Darrah Brustein, founder, Network Under 40,
“I’m here to remind you to create a great impression
in real life and then leverage that work to create a
strong reputation currency online.” Parents make sure
your children understand their content does influence
their future and their content can change the
reputations that they have.
As a parent of two, a professional educator, business
owner, and blogger, I encourage parents to teach and
model for their children to Act with Integrity and
teach that Respect is earned not given and personal
reputations are valuable, not commodities to be