The rise of social media has brought a fundamental change to the Internet and the world. No longer can we post and share like nobody is watching. Each and every post we make has the potential to spread; all it takes is one retweet, re-post or share.
One recent example that privacy is dwindling related to my good friend, Klout. I am being facetious here and recently wrote a blog post about quitting Klout. In case you don’t know, Klout is an internet company that “measures online influence.” The New York Times recently wrote an article about how Klout automatically made profiles for minors. Unfortunately, the article isn’t online anymore, but here is a great blog post about some of Klout’s privacy concerns.
However, this is only one sign that online privacy is truly ending. Privacy and the idea of personal branding are one in the same. In an age of social media, it is more important than ever to manage your personal brand and image. I know the idea of personal brand is cliche, but people wouldn’t keep saying it if it wasn’t important, right?
Managing your personal brand is as easy as taking an extra five seconds to think about a post before you hit enter. Before, you could make a mistake in an email and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But now, in the age of social media, everything is amplified. If you tweet something about the Penn State scandal *cough* @aplusk *cough* you have to be ready to defend yourself. Obviously, Kutcher is a celebrity and already in the spotlight, but an average person could also face major consequences.
This is just an introduction to what I think is a major issue facing college students and professionals in an age of social media and the end of privacy. Please tell me what you think in the comments and if you have any tips for managing your personal brand.