Thursday, January 22, 2009

Your Online Persona

I am teaching my business students about social networking and blogging as part of our ecommerce syllabus. Most young people today are tech-savvy. They have digital cameras and access to the internet. They spent most of their free time online. They have accounts to most popular social networks and what amazes me is that they capture or document their lives thru photos or videos and uploaded them online. There is no small or big event that is not captured and shared on the internet. I should know for we have a social network dedicated just for our class.

One of my objectives in teaching them about social networking and blogging is giving them ideas how these technologies can benefit their future business ventures or careers, I always stress/impress on them the importance of creating a clean and professional image of themselves online.

I treat having a blog or a website as being a “star” or “celebrity” of sort. There is always a possibility of becoming famous or well-known online. You get to know people from different parts of the world, from different walks of life and they get know about you. So before I even let my students start blogging I always tell them to think carefully about what part of themselves they would like their future readers or “fans” to know about them. Just like the stars and celebrities, they have public and private lives.

I also remind them that any information, pictures or videos they put online is intended for public consumption. You do not know who are the people viewing them and that these people can and will save a copy of these for themselves. Being young at times you don’t think about the future and what your actions today can have on your tomorrows. Like posting sexy and provocative pictures online may earn you admirers and suitors now. But the same pictures might, years from now turn off a prospective husband. Or bragging about being a very bad boy on one of your blogs, proud about how you defy rules and can get away with it surfaces just when you are after a promotion or running for public office ten years from now.

I also ask them to refrain from posting photos and videos they place on private folders. Even social networks can be hacked. There are many cases like these already. Creating a good, professional persona or image online would be advantageous for the future like uploading information, photos or videos that will highlight your best qualities. We never know, maybe there will come a time when employers and future partners would just “google” your name to get to know the REAL YOU.

Being seen or having a online life can be fun be since it’s a world new world to conquer but we must treat it as real life and events happening to us online affects our lives for the internet is here to stay and being online is slowly becoming an integral part of our lives now and in the future.

The full detail of this article will be published on the PLMar newsletter soon.

No comments: