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THE INTERNET IS WRITTEN IN INK NOT PENCIL

What do you think about when you think of fame, or the rise to stardom? Is it the invites to a-list events, double page features, or the official blue tick next to your name on Twitter and Instagram?

Whilst some of those things may come to the forefront of your mind, one thing I imagine that doesn’t is the public’s interest into your private life. Whilst many famous people today owe at least part of their success to social media, one thing’s for sure, it has made it nearly impossible to separate public and private.

If it’s true what we’re told, that the internet is forever, then should we all be moderating what we post on our social channels? Just being a little more mindful about the content, after all, we are the face of our own personal brand. When you’re tagged in an unflattering picture on Facebook or Instagram, i’m sure you wouldn’t give a second thought about removing it from your profile, so why keep statuses you wrote over a decade ago?

The future is a place where mistakes can be fixed and regretful decisions can be compensated for, or so we like to think. But when the internet is involved, that isn’t always the case as things are written in ink not pencil.

Several well-known figures in recent times know only too well about the past coming back to bite them. Jack Maynard, Stormzy, SNP MP Paul Monaghan and Zoella have all been the subject to criticism and backlash over offensive comments. Even US schoolboy Keaton Jones whose video went viral after he was filmed by his mother talking about bullying, has received online backlash against his family following allegations of Confederate racism.

Whilst many of us have been using Twitter and Facebook from day dot, i’m sure there are posts online that no longer represent present-day values and beliefs. It’s worthwhile to take the time to do a little personal pruning to prevent any career hiccups or a public outcry, here are our top 3 tips:

  • Remember that politics is a dangerous game. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but if you begin to take advantage or meddle with people’s beliefs, it can be extremely risky. You will be scrutinised whether you’re seen to be on the “right” or “wrong” side, so make sure you present your opinions in a way that lowers the risk of condemnation.
  • Double-check EVERYTHING. Something as simple as proofreading should be a given for whenever you write anything, but it is often overlooked. It’s only going to take a few minutes to check your post for factual inaccuracies, typos or hidden implications. Have someone on-hand to proofread everything for you.
  • Admit your mistake, if you make one. Transparency is a crucial element in today’s society. People want to feel and see you’re genuine. Be humble and when you stand to correct your error, make sure you take whole responsibility and apologise immediately.