Social media and online networking have brought about a new paradigm shift, one by which you can reach and communicate with anyone in the world. In this new borderless environment, the paradox is that the more global you become the more you should expect small village behaviors. So, you now need to actively manage your reputation and your online persona before others do it for you.
Every once in a while I talk to people who are not interested in doing much online due to privacy concerns. However, some of them have already been tagged in pictures by others. That is stuff that can be easily searched online. For better or worse, they might not have necessarily been portrayed the way they usually conduct and project themselves.
We wear clothes, talk and behave in manners that convey our personality and belief system. In a matter of speaking, moving forward we also need to get dressed, communicate and behave online. Otherwise, others will intentionally or unintentionally involve us and the resulting patchwork might do a poor job at telling who we really are. Here is a real life example: employers conduct web searches when screening candidates.
Therefore, the same way schools have been teaching not just reading and writing but also communication skills, today’s digital society demands that we become adept at developing and managing our online persona. This does not mean giving away all kind of personal information. On the contrary, your privacy is now best protected by proactively managing what’s going out there.
The bottom line is that you are now your best public relations agent, and that’s a communication skill which should be taught in all schools.