Yes, you have a social media account, you can post whatever you want, but did you know that that ‘Whatever’ makes up your digital reputation? It’s what you’re known for, your behaviour online on social media platforms, and how you portray yourself.
Have you ever thought about what message(s) you send? Are you that annoying serial status updater, or so inactive Facebook brings you up in ‘Poke” suggestions?
The Zambia Information and Communications Technology (ZICTA) defines digital reputation as “behaviour in the online environment and by the content that you post about yourself and others. Tagged photos, blog posts and social networking interactions will all shape how you are perceived by others online and offline (in your social and professional life).”
This is not about just Facebook, it’s about all platforms. Here are some guidelines if you want to maintain a good digital reputation:
1. Rethink your status updates. If you wouldn’t want family members or employers to see it, it probably shouldn’t be up there.
2. Don’t share controversial topics, unless you understand what they’re about and you know your input will not annoy or intimidate others.
3. Don’t share offensive material like pictures or other people’s posts. Some users who are in your network may think less of you and this may affect your relationship, whether personal or business, with them. If you get tagged in posts/pictures you think may be offensive, untag yourself. Simple…
4. Never share porn! Why would you even?! So many people put up pictures of ‘Big Booty Brenda’ thinking it’s cool but to some extent that booty will get you booted out of a possible job. Employers these days look to social media to scan their potential employees before hiring, and you don’t want to be left out because of a stranger’s backside!
5. Delete old posts. There’s a saying that whatever you post on the internet stays there FOREVER! It’s true. There are sites that collect general information from social media. Google search your name and see how much data may come up, if you’re very active on social media.
6. Treat other users like you would want to be treated. The thing about social media is it provides some distance between you and another person so it’s easy to say whatever you want to another person, but what happens when you meet them in person? Don’t say anything to anyone online that you would not typically say to them in person. Trust me I know, cursed someone out online and stood sheepishly dumb when I met them in person. Long story.
7. Tune your privacy settings so that only a few people may have access to your posts. Block the people you don’t need to see them, or who you don’t want to see posts/hear from.
Hope that helps you become a better internet citizen. Feel free to start sweeping your accounts clean right now. These do not apply to users who