These last few weeks I’ve been blogging about the power of words. You no doubt have experienced how careless and cruel words hurt others and tear apart the closest of friends. Unfortunately, words have the power to even destroy someone’s reputation.
A blogger wrote: “All my life I have been talked and gossiped about, and still am, behind my back. I just ignore them and walk away but sometimes I wonder what is the problem with me and what have I done to deserve being talked badly about.”
Even though no one can have complete control over what others say or think about them, it is possible to do some things that can protect your reputation, and possibly prevent people from gossiping about you.
The very best thing you can do to protect your reputation is to manage your online presence.
The Internet, in particular, has the potential to define the reputation of a person for good or bad—what people see or read about you online influences their opinion of you. So the very best thing you can do to protect your reputation is to manage your online presence.
How can you do that?
Take down anything that it is inappropriate online and put up what you would like others to know about you.
Nothing on the Internet or sent through phones is truly private, it can all be traced.
- Don’t post inappropriate or sexual comments or photos on facebook or myspace. Whatever you post on the web is painting a picture of who you are. You never know who is going to see something you post on the web. What might seem like an inside joke between you and a good friend can be misinterpreted by someone on the outside, including potential future employers. Information online is often permanent and searchable.
- Don’t post music, lyrics or images that are violent, sexual, or drug-related.While you may know you don’t do drugs, or that you’re not violent, someone who doesn’t know you might find it easy to think you are—they might not get the joke.
- Don’t use email addresses with sexual overtones, and don’t send sexual texts or photos through your phone or email. You might think you’re only sending it to one person, but you never can know for sure who they will think should see it. Nothing on the Internet or sent through phones is truly private, it can all be traced. And remember, everything you do online is sending a message to others about who you are.
Cierra said: “If you want to protect your reputation you have to think about if I do this just once, do I want people knowing about it or thinking of me in this way? I know you shouldn't care about what others think, but there are times when it's okay to.”
Think about what you are showing others by what you say and the way you act.
Think about what you are showing others by what you say and the way you act, not only online but offline. People are watching and making judgments about what kind of person you by what you show them. As you begin to understand this, you are better able to act in ways that will enhance your reputation rather than damage it.
I’m so excited you are reading my blogs. I write them for you with the hope it will help you in some way. Thank you Jolene for your encouraging words: “I love how Dawson tells how gossip really hurts. Other blog sites just gossip, this one tells us how hurtful it can be. I am so glad that Dawson is down-to-earth.”
Next week, I am starting a very important series about suicide and I need your help. Please tell me your story about suicide and suicidal thoughts.
- Why do so many people have suicidal thoughts?
- Have you ever considered committing suicide? Why?
- What stopped you from going through with your plans?
- Have you ever had a friend commit suicide? How did that affect you?
Please comment here on this blog and let me know your thoughts. It will help me greatly with my writing.
02-05-2010 3:00 AM