Managing ones online reputation can be a daunting task. Going out with colleagues, having a bit too much to drink, or having an opinion someone doesn’t agree with can now destroy an entire career, and/or degrade everything a person has ever worked to accomplish. Censorship and self-regulation is a strong part of any individual’s or business’s daily routine in our society of political correctness. If these entities expect to be successful, they must remain neutral and indifferent while using social networks and other mediums. Due to the potential backlash surrounding social media, it is completely understandable why people and companies alike are frightened of a negative online reputation.
The story of someone’s life being flipped upside down for the worse because of a poor decision on Facebook or Twitter has been told a thousand times. A person writes a contemptuous message about their job online, only to find that they have no job the next day because their employer has read the message. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to recognize the content you are posting, and the intended and unintended effect it may have on your peers. The age of an anonymous internet is dead and what you post and write online follows you forever.
That being said, the obsession with reputation today is seen by some as a human fault. This paranoia by masses of people over how they are perceived by others can be incredibly destructive to the ego of any individual. Investing a great deal of thought and time into a project or opinion, and then having your audience or consumers reject it can destroy a person’s sense of self. This is especially true in the world today where one’s reputation can be can be lost without deserving, simply manufactured and often goes without merit.
Reputation management has been a part of society since the dawn of civilization. Whether it is right or wrong, people will judge you based on every single decision and action you make in life and there is no getting away from it, not even online. Opportunities can be squandered because of a foolish decision on the web. All in all, it can be said that people will get a more realistic and sincere online experience when people think twice about what they say. Maybe Bob Dylan was wrong on this one folks.