I’d like to open by saying two things.
- Holy crap! There were a LOT of dry statistics in the 47 page article we were assigned this week.
- I read ALL of it. (No reading quiz of course. But oh well.)
- Numbers aren’t my thing, so keep your expectations for this blog low. (Seriously though. I suck at blogging.)
Kay. Moving on.
Madden and Smith’s ‘Reputation Management & Social Media’ article was very thorough, and did an excellent job of backing up its theory that Americans are placing more and more value on their online image, different demographics share and regulate their personal information to varying degrees, and Social Media users’ reputations evolve whether or not self-regulation is attempted. Although we know the importance of online reputations are growing quickly, it is hard to say exactly how important they are or how important they will become in the future. Online reputations will likely never replace individual people’s character, but as people’s personal and professional identities become more accessible via internet, it is feasible that your online reputation can (and should) be weighted heavier.
I have a friend that is a police officer, and recently pulled over a young man on a routine traffic stop. After running his plates and personal information through the state of Texas’ databases, he decided to pull up the guy’s Facebook page. The profile picture that showed up was a marijuana leaf, and his profile completely public. From the information found on his online profile, the officer could tell that the citizen was a recreational drug user and asked the driver if he had any illegal substances in the vehicle. The driver didn’t have a good poker face, and eventually confessed to possessing drugs and paraphernalia. I don’t think he ever found out that his Facebook is what got him arrested and hauled off to jail, but if he did, I’m sure he would have changed a few things on his home page – from privacy settings to what type of information he decided to share.
I made the argument in class that social media never sleeps, so your social networking sites could very well be introducing you to multiple people while you’re off playing outside. …Or whatever it is that you do.
Madden and Smith determined that 1 in 4 employed adults work for companies that have policies regarding online behavior. Sometimes just venting to your online following can be enough to get you canned!
(Aaaand that’s definitely not the internet’s fault…)
It seems like as more people begin to share and observe more on the internet, the more careful we all need to be with what we upload. Right now, as Madden and Smith made excessively clear, the usage of the internet to store and share personal information is up across the boards, so internet users that share their lives on the internet need to be increasing the care with which they present themselves.