By Solomon A. Johnson.

As adults, we occasionally reminisce on our childhood deeds. Sometimes with feelings of nostalgia, and other times with feelings of regret.

One thing is sure, if we had the opportunity to go back to our childhood, and grow up again, many of us would certainly have corrections to make, or do things differently. Same way in some years to come, we’ll look back at some of the things we do today and wish we had done better – of course, we can’t be perfect.

Today, it is fair to say most of us are living our lives online; from social media sites to search engines and cookies, e-commerce sites to emails. The numbers of people who use these platforms keep increasing. The figures are outrageous – 2.27 billion Facebook users, 1 billion Instagram users, 326 million Twitter users.

So let’s talk about online reputation. Reputation is simply what somebody is known for. Your online reputation is simply what you are known for online.
You may have come across the term; Online Reputation Management (or ORM) before. It simply refers to how individuals, groups or organisations control what shows up when people search for them online.

ORM is important both to individuals and organisations because people have perceptions and make decisions about other people based on what they know about them online.
People do business with who they know, like and trust. People share great opportunities only with friends they trust and count worthy. People even make decisions on whom to marry, based on a person’s online reputation.

But unfortunately for many who are still ignorant of the effect of their online reputation, their social media life is one that pushes away the people who have the connections that they need for their next level.

One way to gain a clear insight into your online reputation (on social media) is to view and study the kind of people who send you friend requests on Facebook and the kind of people who follow you on Instagram and Twitter, etc. While this method may not always be accurate, it is likely to provide you with relevant information on the kind of people your social media life is attracting, and if you’re not okay with it, then you may need to make changes to your social media life.

Your online reputation is directly linked with the things you post or share, the pages you follow, the groups you join, and even the pictures you upload (including your profile picture)

You don’t want to live your life trying to impress everyone, but you sure want people to be clear on the things that you stand for, and that are valuable to you.

It is virtually impossible to delete anything you post online – the internet never forgets. So if you care about your online reputation and its impact on your future, you’ll need to exercise caution in the comments that you make or the things that you post on social media.

In a couple of years from now, you don’t want to look back at your life with regret, because of some careless posts on social media. So take your online reputation seriously.

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