By: Nayelle Williams, Secondary English Education Major
The internet provides a plethora of information. Many colleges and employers use the internet to obtain information about a potential student or worker. Therefore, it is vital to have an appropriate image on the web because that is your brand. It is a brand or image that you are selling to the people that view your accounts. As an aspiring educator, I am cognizant that I must instill knowledge of appropriate internet behavior to the children I work with, so that their future is not limited by an old Facebook post or picture. Teaching extends beyond the core subjects of English, math, history and science. In an effort to create holistic and well-rounded young people, I need to teach them the importance of professionalism behind the screen. Students need to be made aware that the things they post on the internet never disappear and send an important message about themselves.
In his book entitled, What Color is Your Parachute for Teens, Richard N. Bolles provides some ways to create a solid web presence to build your brand and image. I think this is a great resource for children and adults alike because it provides information on how to clean up and redefine your internet image. Here are some examples:
- Emphasize the importance of a name
- Bolles suggest that we use legal names or variations of it to establish our social media pages. He wants us to refrain from using “monikers” or nicknames because that can send a poor message and have people negatively react to us or our page.
- This is also applicable to email addresses as well. Try to choose an email address that is appropriate for the business world (try using your first and last name or first initial and last name).
- Remember a picture is worth a thousand words
- Tell children to try and use profile pictures that send a positive message about themselves and their character.
- People genuinely look at your pictures and will make hasty decisions about you based off a picture—make a worthy and lasting impression.
- Watch what you post
- Encourage students to monitor the content they put online and to avoid posting inappropriate and offensive material on their social media pages.
- Remind them that the stuff they post never disappears!