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 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.
Youth, teens and young adults are
increasingly online during the pandemic.
They cannot physically see their friends,
although policies are relaxing, but from
March 2020 to June 2021 it has been hard.
The lack of physical contact has caused
social challenges of being disconnected
from family and friends and children have
been affected. They have dived into using
tech to connect and engage, the issue
is that many are applying inappropriate
behaviors and parents at time are not
watching and monitoring.
With the increased integration of the
Internet into the lives of youth, teens
and young adults and the ease of developing
digital content, youth need to learn about
the value of their developing e-Reputations.
Thier 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
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 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 and the influence they
have. Look at the effects of Tic Tok and how many
youth are freely giving personal information to a
platform that an then sell, share and take
advantage of in other ways.
Facebook, Twitter, Tick Tok, Instagram and other
sites are the current 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
The term, “your reputation precedes you,” is
important because people will research each other
digitally even after meeting 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.” You can see on platforms how youth are
having fun, but possibly at the expense of their
future reputations for high paying jobs and
Technology is changing the way youth learn, engage
with each other, share their knowledge and even
manage their relationships online. There are
algorithsm built into sites like LinkedIn that match
skills, abilities, talents, and other qualities to
pair with employment opportunities.
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. Youth 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
treated carelessly. The youth today will be judged,
evaluated, perceived and accepted or denied based
on past social media activities.
Parents must at times look at their children’s phones,
to prevent the wrong impressions being shared and
the wrong information that can jeopardize or damage
If your school or organization would like a workshop
for youth, teens and young adults contact the
XSTREAM Team for a STEAM, Tech or Internet Workshop.
Edublog for XSTREAM Teach