You never get a second chance at a first impression.
Before online, [it was] private by default, public by effort. After online, public by default, private by effort. ~~ danah boyd
As you all know, I am on a mission to educate girls of color, specifically black girls, and the people who love them to consider protecting your future digital reputation while you grow up online.
Your future depends on what you do today more than ever before.
Your digital reputation is critical to your future net worth in a networked reality. The permanance of what you do on YouTube or other social networks and the searchability of most data is not your friend.
What you say and do online can and surely will ruin your reputation for decades to come and girls of color should be particularly concerned. Other people’s perceptions of us matter even while we campaign for our own lives mattering to them. #blacklivesmatter #blackgirlsmatter
As a demographic minority, we cannot guarantee the the millions of strangers out there can get us without meeting us in person. In other words, how people tend to perceive black females (cis or transgender) is already stigmatized and latent with stereotypes and symbolic meaning that the youngest black girls online have not yet fully grasped nor learned how to manage. Your reputation is everything! And adolescence is no longer protected given the millions of kids 13 and younger on YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms. How do we get kids and adults, alike, in communities of color to start thinking of that I am a brand not just as an individual. I represent more than my present self. I also represent my future selves in perpetuity.
Here’s a quick remedy. Eric Qualman’s book WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS ON YOUTUBE: Privacy is Dead (2014). It’s a must read and a quick one, too! Be sure to download it from Amazon while it’s still free!
Not convinced? Don’t forget what happened to our girls. Think of Rachel Jeantel, Quevenzhané Wallis, Malia Obama, whose selfie that leaked before she knew it, or Mo’ne Davis and the negative attention they received that wasn’t even warranted. What happens to girls who twerk? Nothing wrong with twerking. It’s the broadcasting it online before you’ve even finished high school that threatens a young black girls’ public identity and future net worth (online and off). Mo’ne and Quevenzhané have publicists. Every day people do not.
TIP OF THE DAY:
I bet many of you have YouTube channels but do not have your settings for your History or your Searches “private.” Don’t wait! Do it today!!