Launching a column called Digital You on Valentine’s Day is quite fitting. Today is much more than a “Hallmark holiday” as I used to refer to it, because now we no longer need cards to send a message of love, like or lust — we can email, Tweet or even post on a loved one’s Facebook Wall. Instead of running to the card store, today’s a day when procrastinators can take to the web and find a pink or red e-card. The digitally savvy can use their Flip video to shoot a brief short film and post it to YouTube for tens of millions to see.
We can literally “reach out and touch someone” in more ways than ever before. Just remember that once a message of gooey sentiments is out there, it’s out there, and not necessarily for your sweetheart’s eyes only. If you post, blog or Tweet your message – the entire online world can see it.
STOP Before Sending
Before online communications we could simply erase, cross out or toss something we’ve written. But we can’t always control the content we post on the web — usually, what’s been sent out in cyberspace stays floating around there forever, so think twice before hitting “enter” or “update page.”
Facebook privacy snafus have exposed massive amounts of messages that were not intended for public consumption. Misaddressed emails have caused lots of red faces. Including my own red face when I mistakenly emailed my boss about how grumpy and inaccessible he always looked at work. I thought I was emailing a friend and colleague.
Keep in mind that because sites like YouTube and Twitter have such high visibility on Google, a Google search for your name could reveal your Valentine message. So think twice before computing your steamy love messages and pick up a pen instead.
Is This Column For You?
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I have romance on the brain. But cyber privacy is just one of the many concerns of this column. I’m here to discuss–and demystify–the world of the worldwide web.
Interested in building your online identity or keeping abreast of online social media tools, online marketing or blogging tips? Wondering how to hide some digital dirt or highlight your greatest accomplishments online? Perhaps you run a business or created a fab product with a less-than-fab advertising budget and you’re wondering how Facebook ads work. If you’re an entrepreneur, small to large sized business owner or employee, if you’re an executive, an artist, a job-seeker or an athlete, then this column is for you. It’s news you can use for anyone who is active online and looking to go from invisible to visible, digitally speaking.