Tag Archives: reputation

As a society, we’re always so concerned about what other people think of us. Even, or perhaps especially, when we reach celebrity level. One of my classmates posted on our “Tweets from everywhere but Twitter” (#tfebt) tag an article about accidental internet stardom. It gives accounts from the subjects of popular memes, such as Success Kid’s mother and Doge’s owner.

What I found most fascinating is that even when someone’s picture is used for harmless jokes, that person is worried about how it reflects on them. Success Kid, actually named Sam Griner, started after his mother, Laney, posted his picture on Flickr, a popular photo sharing website. The photo features Sam on a beach with a fist clenched by his chest, like he is pumping it up and down. According to the article, someone originally photoshopped another child in the background and captioned it, “I hate sandcastles.” Laney Griner said that she didn’t like how that portrayed Sam as mean-spirited and aggressive. Even when Sam was a baby, she was worried about his reputation as an internet star. Fortunately for her and Sam, the meme eventually evolved into one with a positive connotation.

The meme is commonly used to express different everyday "successes" that creators experience. (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

The meme is commonly used to express different everyday “successes” that creators experience.
(Photo: Mashable.com)

Another internet celebrity discussed in the article is Doge, also known as “dumb shiba.” The original photo features a shiba inu sitting on a couch with a peculiar look on her face. The dog is named Kabosu, and she lives in Japan with her owner, Atsuko Sato. Sato rescued Kabosu, and enjoyed posting pictures of her online when this photo was taken.

The original photograph. (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

The original photograph.
(Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

Sato says that at first, she was scared of how the picture took off, because she didn’t find the picture particularly cute. However, she has since come to see it as a good thing. According to the article, Kabosu’s story and fame are inspiring people to adopt rescue dogs like her.

Seriously, how could you not love this? (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

Seriously, how could you not love this?
(Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

It’s definitely strange how people worry about reputations even at such harmless stages. Nobody today would recognize Sam Griner as Success Kid, and Kabosu is a dog, and dogs don’t usually have reputations to uphold. However, we live in a world where the internet can make or break you, and therefore have to be wary even when the circumstances seem silly.

Student and Twitter user Christian DiPonziano shared on the “tweets from everywhere but Twitter” (#tfebt) tag a fascinating article from Teen Ink about how technology might be negatively affecting our society.

The article, written by Teen Ink contributor Nables, raises a fascinating point. How do we define popularity in the age of Web 2.0?

“It has become incredibly easy with the rise of the internet to become popular just by making the biggest impression,” Nables writes.

Popularity for me, when I was in grade school, was defined by how many friends a person had. Reputation, by how teachers and other students felt about you. It didn’t extend into environments beyond that.

Now, however, it’s common for someone to have hundreds upon hundreds of Facebook friends, and your reputation can be made or broken by a few misinterpreted status updates. How exactly do we redefine reputation and popularity to accommodate those factors? We make the biggest impression.

Now, popularity is defined by who is the most memorable, and reputation is defined by why they’re that memorable. Often, negative impressions will gain a person more popularity than positive ones. Our definition of celebrity has been rewritten to include anyone who can make the most outlandish statements or gather the most hate. Take, for example, Justin Bieber. He was discovered on YouTube, skyrocketed to fame because of his talent, and was talked about even after he burned out because of his obnoxious and disrespectful behavior. In today’s world, that’s just how former child stars tend to keep the attention on them.

Prepubescent "dreamboat" or arrogant toolbag? It's your choice! (Photo: Posh24.com)

Prepubescent “dreamboat” or arrogant toolbag? It’s your choice!
(Photo: Posh24.com)

Technology, overall, has caused us to put negative connotations on “popularity.” Instead of going by who is actually the most likable, we go by who can make the biggest splash in the internet gossip pool. It’s both strange and a little disconcerting how we’ve come to this point, but who am I to judge?

It does not matter who you are or what your profession is, everyone has a reputation.  You could be a high- school student, a lawyer, a doctor, a pilot or even a stay at home parent.  No matter who you are or what you do, your reputation is sacred.  Your reputation is something that you build who the type of person you are, and how you want your professional and personal community to view you.  Reputations can easily be ruined and tarnished in the blink of an eye, and we see this happen everyday in the news, because of some type of scandal that has happened.  This is exactly what happened in Cheshire, England.

We hear about a different “school- sex” story every other day in the news.  How teachers and faculty members are being charged with sexual assault of their students.  Even if these accusations are not always so true, once someone is accused, their reputation is slowly being ruined and influenced, by the school community and also when the local media gets involved.  Schools are supposed to be there for their teachers and faculty when something like this happens, to protect them when falsely accused, but they are always going to take the student’s word first.  As a future educator, I will always believe my student in order to ensure their safety and protection while in their classroom and school community.  The facts of the matter are sorted out in a way that tries to be hidden, but the school should never hide the wrong doing of a teacher, if they know the person is guilty of a crime to save the school’s reputation.

Two of the biggest social media sensations on campus are the snapchat account YikYakRowan and the Facebook page “Rowan University Secrets/Confessions.” Both of these are forms of anonymous social media, so people seem to have no problem submitting revealing pictures of themselves, attaching the names of themselves or others to posts, or posting comments with degrading or argumentative topics. The question I’m dying to know the answer to is, “How screwed are we when it comes to finding jobs?” It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to look at potential employees’ social media history with background-check intensity, meaning that the snapchat screenshot of your newly-pierced nipples that your friend drunkenly posted on Facebook and tagged you in might actually affect your opportunities in the future.

Or worse, that snapchat of you in a lederhosen your sister posted on her blog for a class ends up in the hands of your future boss. (Sorry, Cole.)

Or worse, that snapchat of you in a lederhosen your sister posted on her blog for a class ends up in the hands of your future boss.
(Sorry, Cole.)

YikYakRowan is a snapchat account (based on and named after the popular Yik Yak app, which missed the cut on this list because it’s so heavily moderated and mostly harmless posts about being a “thirsty b***h” anyway) that reposts pictures from other Rowan students to their story, for all of their followers to see. While this is great for some harmless entertainment or even helping people locate lost items (I’ve seen more than one lost credit card on there) some students are taking it too far. Among the pictures of pets, goofy faces, and disturbingly accurate drawings done with a phone stylus are nude pictures (how consensual these pictures are sometimes is up for debate) pictures of students holding alcoholic beverages, and images taken of people without their knowledge.

For example, this charming photo of whatever evidently goes on in freshman dorms lately.

For example, this charming photo of whatever evidently goes on in freshman dorms lately. Note that I had to tap through multiple images of bare breasts, captioned “#TittyTuesday,” to find this.

Similarly, Rowan University Secrets/Confessions is a Facebook page that allows students to anonymously submit “confessions” that are then posted on the page. Past posts range from crushes and compliments to multiple confessions about vindictively putting bodily fluids in roommates’ personal items. Again, while the posts are anonymous, people tend to get in arguments in the comments section or post degrading things about friends regarding the post. Though this is usually done in good fun, it can bounce back later when it ends up on your profile.

Why is it always poop with these people?

Why is it always poop with these people?

My point is this: while everything is usually meant as all in good fun, be careful what you put out there. Even posts on the most anonymous of platforms can come back to bite you.

In today’s day and age, getting hired for a job requires much more than passing a background check and nailing an interview. People who are looking to hire will search your name on google and see what comes up. There are companies such as Reputation Changer and Big Blue Robot that charge the big bucks to hide your google-able dirty laundry. However, in the article I read, 6 Steps To Managing Your Online Reputation, the author compiles a list of 6 things that the heads of many of these reputation-saver websites agreed are important to reputation success.

The first tip the article gives is “search yourself” which I realized was something I hadn’t done in a while so I did. The first two results that came up are my LinkedIn and my Pinterest accounts. Also, my profile pictures for both of these accounts appeared in google images. The fourth tip the article gave was one that surprised me and was “join social networks.” Linkedin is a social network that is specifically designed for employers to connect with you. However, other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter I would think would be damaging to someone trying to land a job. The article requests that you are somewhat active on social network accounts.

The last tip is, in my opinion, the most important and reads “keep things private, while assuming nothing is truly private.” There are many helpful privacy settings on all social media, specifically Facebook. However, with enough digging, employers may be able to find that embarrassing photo of you from the Christmas party. If someone tags you in a photo that you don’t want to appear on your account, untag yourself immediately. There is also a useful privacy setting on Facebook that makes it so you must approve something before you get tagged in it which I love.