Your reputation, good or bad, has always been something that affects the actions of others around you. Now, in the age of the internet and minimal privacy, your online reputation is even more important than ever. In a time where anyone can look up the most intimate details of your private life, it is critical to take charge and manage that information to put control back into your own hands. Here are 8 ways that a poor online image directly impacts your life.
1) One of the biggest ways that a poor online reputation can negatively impact your life is when it comes to procuring credit, housing, and employment opportunities. When these organizations do background checks online, they are able to see much more about you than they used to be. Many issues can be enough to cause them to deny your application, such as negative reviews or old social media posts. In order to maintain your best chances of success, Francis Santa suggests that it is also crucial to maintain your online image.
2) Another truly pernicious example of how a negative online reputation can affect your life is when it comes to insurance. Insurance companies are now able to keep a more thorough log of whether an individual is following their policies or if there is anything that the individual did not disclose when signing the agreement due to the internet. There have been instances where insurance companies have denied claims because of content they have seen online, such as policyholders engaged in dangerous activities. In the case of life insurance, this content can continue to harm you even after death if there is no payout due to issues with online postings. In order to avoid such an issue, it is important to be in control of your reputation.
3) The most notorious way that a negative online reputation can affect your life is when it comes to business. Personal issues become issues for your business and vice versa. This holds true even if you are just employed by a company and not in a managing role. This can have a large monetary impact on you or your business as well as your professional and personal relationships. In order to be successful in business today, it is necessary to manage your online reputation.
4) A poor online reputation can also impact your potential relationships. Many people search someone online before their first meeting, professionally or casually, and what they see is often their first impression of you. If the content that they view is negative, then it can be difficult to shirk that initial judgment even after a meeting. In order to keep your best foot forward, managing your online presence is a necessary first step.
5) Oftentimes, a person with a negative reputation is not the only one affected by that reputation. In fact, the people close to them such as their family, friends, and coworkers are also impacted. Even when these people are not directly mentioned, many sites that collect personal data will also show affiliated people on an individual’s page. Because of this, any personal issues that are posted online become issues even for those not involved. It is essential to manage your online image to protect not only yourself but also those that you care about.
6) Not only does a negative online reputation affect people that you know, but it can even harm strangers. Anyone with the same or similar name as you will come up when someone searches for you, and if there’s no way to tell that it is a different person such as via photos or location information then you may end up being mistaken for someone else. Even if your own reputation is clear, you can still be victimized by negative online content that has nothing to do with you. Though rarely thought of, this is actually a very common way in which people suffer due to poor online reputation and a reason why it is imperative that you take charge of your own reputation.
7) Ultimately, the person most impacted by your online reputation is you. When there is negative content posted about you online, it impacts your self-image. Many people lose sleep over things that they posted or that were posted about them online. The anxiety that they feel due to their situation can be debilitating and can affect other areas of their lives such as their relationships and jobs. In order to maintain your mental health, it is necessary to maintain your online reputation.
8) One of the first things that we learn about the internet is that what goes up stays there forever. This means that even issues from decades ago can still rear their heads at any time, and makes it almost impossible to move on from them. Negative content does not only cause anxiety when it is posted, but it also continues to do so throughout the individual’s life and impacts their long-term sense of peace and happiness. This is a significant reason that controlling your online reputation is so important.