In person, people see you as a responsible, trustworthy member of the community. However, on the internet you appear to be a drinking, smoking slacker whom nobody should trust. How can this happen? Your internet reputation is compiled of all of the little pieces of you that people see without being able to assemble them all into one big picture. On Facebook, a post that talks about taking drugs leads the reader to believe that you are an addict.
In reality, you have a prescription for painkillers for a bulging disc that you have to take three times a day or you can’t go to work. An Instagram photo of a large bottle of scotch makes your boss think that you are an alcoholic. He doesn’t realize that the big bottle of scotch is a Christmas present to him from the staff. On the internet, pictures are taken out of context, words are used in casual speak and references are made that have plenty of undiscovered back story. These random instances are what make up your internet reputation for the world to see.
The time to start changing your internet reputation is now. Be mindful of the phrases you use. Ask yourself what someone might think who didn’t have any prior knowledge and who read what you posted. It may surprise you how often we think that people know exactly what we are talking about, and it turns out otherwise. Don’t post things that can be taken the wrong way, and you can rest assured that they won’t be.