Giving a Damn About Your (Online) Reputation

Joan Jett may not have given a damn about her bad reputation, but when it comes to your online reputation, keeping tabs on what you make public online could save you from an offline catastrophe.

Increasingly we are living our lives online but there are clear downsides to over-sharing via social media and it is becoming abundantly clear that our online lives can have detrimental effects on our lives offline.

Following a string of high profile social media blunders, which even the seemingly saintly Taylor Swift has fallen victim to, there is an increased awareness of online reputations and how an update may be perceived by others.

Now a government-backed campaign, iRights, is looking to advocate the right for children to remove all content they create or are associated with that could cause embarrassment later in life.

"Personal experimentation is an essential part of childhood development, yet the internet never forgets and never corrects," says the campaign.

But what about those of us who are old enough to know better?

The modern world has accepted that employers are viewing the social profiles of current and potential employees, which can often shape their decision on whether or not to recruit an individual, or take action on an existing employee.

Social media can allow a panoramic view into the lives of individuals. Every picture, video, rant, share, retweet and pin can be accessed by potential employers, educational institutions and law enforcement.

It is foolish to think that a picture of *that* night or the rant you had after a bad day at work won’t come back to haunt you.

What many people fail to remember is that there is no different between online and “in real life” - online is real life and your action online has real life consequences. Once something is posted, it is almost impossible to withdraw. The internet has no mercy, and neither will employers once your online reputation starts to threaten theirs.