Your digital presence = YOU. What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet. This didn’t matter much when you were in high school. But trust me, from now on, it really matters. If you’ve never Googled yourself, do it. Not finding anything is almost as bad as finding unflattering content. Consider checking out a reputation management site like BrandYourself.com that can show you how to create and maintain a positive online presence.
Online Safety. Be smart with geolocation services. Don’t create a venue for your dorm room; your residence hall will suffice. Consider checking in as you leave a location, instead of when you arrive. Don’t publicize every check-in via Twitter or Facebook. Only friend people you actually know. Consider what personal information you are sharing via any platform. While rare, there are people who can and will use this information in less than beneficial ways.
Networking starts now.The next four years will fly by. Establish a LinkedIn profile, and record your accomplishments and activities. Check out the pages of places you dream about working. Expand your horizons by looking at people’s job titles. There are 100 million+ LinkedIn users, and nearly as many job titles. LinkedIn is not the only place to network online. Many students have found jobs and internships via Twitter. Every social media platform presents a networking opportunity.
You will be surprised how much your online world grows once you are a college student. With a little thought, you can create a great online presence, have fun and stay safe, all at the same time.
Every day in August (and perhaps some in September, too), Campus Overload will feature a 300-word-or-less essay centered around one piece of #College101 advice for the Class of 2015. To participate, e-mail Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org.