Digital tools are critical in many facets of our lives, from education and work, to communication and building valuable networks. Generations are being raised in a digital era dominated by social media and online interaction; so it’s not surprising that children already have an online presence from the age of two. It does however raise the question, should parents be managing their teenagers online reputation? It is essential that we vocalise the importance of building a positive online presence, and the potential damage to ones personal brand, that comes with a negative presence.
Raising the Issue:
Ask don’t dictate
Speaking about this issue with your children is critical in educating them on how to manage their online reputation. To assist them in building a positive and compelling personal brand, you must think about who they are, their strengths, personality, and the impression they want to give others.
Ask your kids about their online presence. Join the same social networks and befriend them. You are not being over protective or stalking them. In fact, you are teaching them that nothing is really private online. Monitoring their networking activity minimises risk, and ensures that you are there to guide them. They are unaware of the intricacies and dangers of the online world, and your assistance is needed to help them make sound digital decisions.
Protect your child online
With guidance and support, your children will cultivate a positive online presence and personal brand, they will be recognised for their ideas, community participation, and ability to communicate effectively with others. The Internet is a tool with limitless opportunities, but children need advice and supervision from adults to ensure that they are on track to building the foundations of a successful future.
Schooling and Social media
Teachers need to engage with students, and raise discussions on how reputations can be created, and easily ruined, by something as simple as a status update, or a photo taken from a phone or iPad. They must reinforce that this will be on the Internet for everyone to see, forever. Finally, they must remind students that monitoring their reputation is no longer just for celebrities and eminent individuals, but is something we should all do because first impressions are now formed from what others see about us online. Students may have some awareness of the immediate consequences of negative online behavior, it’s essential they understand how this can also impact future opportunities. Guidance by educational bodies will result in building a positive online presence which, if nurtured, will potentially lead to successful futures.
Tips to managing your child’s online presence
- Let your child create a website, online portfolio or blog, and use these to document their successes, as an avenue for discussing their thoughts and opinions.
- Show your child how to find what is being said about them online. You can do this as frequently as you wish; Our recommendation is once every few months.
- If your child has found themselves in danger of reputational damage, act swiftly to fix the issue. Sometimes it can be difficult to eliminate.
The Social Check Team