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Be Responsible for Your Online Reputation

This article advises the youth to be mindful of what they say online and in the real world to keep a good reputation.

As teenagers, you benefit enormously from the Internet and its services. It helps you in your education, finding addresses, playing games, talking to friends, reading the latest news, etc. But along with all these benefits, you need to be very careful about what you reveal about yourself on the Internet while using its services.

In the physical world, your actions – what you say and what you do – will immediately categorize you as this or that type of person. In the same way, your reputation on the Internet is built by what you post, write, share, and comment about others.

Technology is beneficial but makes us vulnerable sometimes, because today if we speak or do good or bad, people around us can take a picture of what we say -do and post it online without our knowledge. Then the users who view those images will have a different opinion to express and say what comes to their mind. This is how cyberbullying cases perpetuate.

Some teenagers who are not taught about the right usage of technology, misuse the technology benefits and write, comment on someone; sometimes intentionally but most times for fun. However, only the recipient alone has the right to decide whether it is for fun or personal.

There have been several cases where teenagers who take those comments seriously commit suicide or go into a state of depression because of some immature or unaffectionate teenagers who did not respect and value others' privacy or family.

We need to understand that when on the Internet we don’t just represent ourselves but our family, relatives, school and our country. Because the Internet is a global service accessed from anywhere globally, what we post may travel all around the world. The information we post may be a single drop in the ocean of information on the Internet, but this single drop is actually stored in virtual directories and search engines assemble each person’s identity on the Internet with their information posted and shared. Today we might forget what you posted but the search engines will recall your messages at a later point in time which may then give you a bad reputation.

So, be careful about what you write and say, both in the online world and the real world. If you think your action is wrong towards someone, be responsible for your acts, and apologize in the same way. Hence, if you have hurt someone online, your apology should be online, so this can be seen by whoever engaged or saw your initial post.

You might feel it is hard to be done as it might affect your reputation, but have you thought before what impact your online act did for the other person and how much you have hurt his/her feelings and reputation? Being responsible and apologies require courage and not everyone can do it, only great persons, be one of them apologize and think before you post online so you do not fall into the same situation.

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Think before you post anything online. You should be mindful of other's feelings and your reputation. In addition, be authentic and not fake online. Your online reputation is a reflection of who you are, not who you pretend to be.

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