Digital Parenting: Give Your Children the Edge with Reputation Management in Today’s Judgmental Society
This isn’t going to be your typical medium post about digital parenting.
It’s not going to be filled with facts and figures about reputation management either.
Instead, we want to tell you a story.
It’s fictional, yet impactful.
It’s about John and Winston (now graduating college).
They were childhood friends.
They both have bright futures and nothing but opportunity in front of them.
But before we jump into their personal situation, let’s set the scene and give you a little context.
John and Winton’s mothers, Jan and Abby, knew each other from high school and were great friends throughout senior year — all the way through college.
They were at each other’s weddings. Both bought a house just two blocks away from each other in the same neighborhood, and both volunteered at the high school they went to.
They were tight.
So, it was only natural when they both had kids, they would be close; it made sense.
John and Winston both followed the rules, got good grades, and played varsity basketball in high school.
They come from good stock, some would say.
In fact, when Winston bragged about getting into an Ivy League college, John wasn’t far behind to show his acceptance letter to Princeton.
As expected, they thrived, made many friends, and piled on the connections.
So, when it was time to go out into the workforce, no one in either family had any concerns.
Then something weird happened.
John couldn’t find work right away.
That’s not uncommon.
In fact, statistics from 2017–2022 show 38% of college grads in the U.S. are underemployed.
But, as the days turned to weeks and weeks turned into months, concerns began to surface.
After all, Winston had tons of offers. He had been turning down jobs left and right.
This only made John and his family even more uneasy.
What made Winston so different? They had the same education, the same good family ties, and the same connections.
Then, Winston’s mom (Jan) mentioned how she learned about digital parenting when Winston first started going online.
She explained that digital parenting involves educating yourself about digital technologies and parental controls that increase your child’s online safety.
Some digital parenting behaviors include:
● Monitoring technology use
● Setting specific rules about online usage
● Enforcing those rules
In short, digital parenting is an extension of traditional parenting with a clear focus on helping to manage your child’s digital life.
Jan went on to explain it can include fine-tuning your child’s online reputation before applying for college or prior to graduating and entering the workforce.
“I didn’t start practicing digital parenting because Winston had done something wrong,” she said.
“In fact, digital parenting is preventive and leverages the power of online reputation management to improve Winton’s chances for employment when companies search for his name on Google.”
Jan said having a positive online presence made Winston more appealing when the competition was tight among job candidates.
She found the advantage received from preventative maintenance and foresight helped Winston tremendously.
So, what happened to John?
Eventually, he found work, but it was at a much lower entry level than he expected.
While this story is fictional, the context is very real.
All too often, these awareness gaps separate opportunities from deserving students in this situation. Now that you’re aware of this hidden opportunity, you can be the digital parent your young adult needs.
So, what’s the point?
Reputation management is more important than ever.
It’s not just for:
● Business owners who want better reviews
It’s for college kids who need every ounce of help they can get in this competitive, judgmental, and very digital world, where nothing is a secret anymore.
It’s for job seekers, future med students, and digital artists who will be competing against computers and people for a job.
Digital parenting is trending now. (In fact, a 2021 study shows that 55% of parents routinely talk to their kids about healthy digital habits.) However, digital parenting has been around for a while.
It’s time to focus on getting wise about online reputation and helping your young professional build the reputation they need to succeed.
Honestly, it’s one of the best gifts you can give your child.
Why Else Is Digital Parenting Important?
Students live in this environment of passwords, privacy settings, and usernames, giving them a false sense of trust and security.
However, these measures still leave them exposed to some of the dangers involved with social media and other online platforms.
Just like a factory’s carbon footprint impacts our physical environment, digital footprints can impact our personal livelihood.
We sometimes forget that every interaction on a digital device is recorded somewhere, and there’s can be a big price to pay if we aren’t careful in what we do or say online.
The loss of your good name is a price bigger than dollars and cents.
Cyberspace holds a visible history of our lives and interests accumulated over time.
As the parents of future leaders, it’s up to you to assist your college kids in protecting them from the serious consequences involved with leaving their thoughts and actions online unguided.
This is where your awareness of digital parenting and a collaboration with an online reputation management expert can be so helpful.
We’ve all seen it with our own eyes.
A young, intelligent high school or college student, with his or her whole life ahead of them, not being accepted by their first-choice school or getting a solid start with a great employer because of what is found on their profile page.
Things others might see as harmless freedom of self-expression can have a very high probability of not being viewed that way from a professional perspective.
Another problem can be friends, acquaintances, and even strangers posting things about your child he or she might not even know about. On top of that, privacy laws and security settings are constantly evolving, making it hard to stay on top of your digital presence.
Most of us just accept the new terms and conditions and don’t read the fine print. But these changes might affect how many people can see your child’s posts.
That’s why it’s so important to be aware of your options and how to give your college grad the advantage he or she needs by using online reputation management services.
These services create content about your child on social media, blogs, and other platforms, pushing down and out of sight anything negative in search results and highlighting what you want people to know about your child.
The power to control what people find and read about your child helps him or her stand out — especially when compared to other graduates who have what might appear to be a damaging social and online reputation.
My only goal is to make sure you see how powerful online privacy and reputation management is and how it secretly affects the lives of young professionals.
That’s why I’m passionate about bringing awareness of proactive online reputation management, digital parenting, and the opportunities it can create in our competitive and judgmental society.
I’ve been on the other side of what it feels like to get passed over. That’s what I want to help your child avoid as much as possible.
If you want to learn more about the digital parenting movement and about how you can help your high school or college kid behave in a way that improves his or her online image, get started today.
By Rockey Simmons