The way bloggers communicate and present themselves and their opinions online is important, but even more important than online presence is “to thine own self be true”. Authenticity is the character trait of being genuine, honest with oneself as well as others. It’s more than that too. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the demands of society or one’s conditioning.
Your online reputation
The reality is that much of the web is designed, not so much to share information, as to sell it. It’s also a reality bloggers today, more than ever before, have many demands on their time and social media networking to create an authentic online presence can be a time drain. Also, as blogging becomes more and more a means of making an income, all bloggers are under increasing pressure to create a “nice” online presence and reputation.
You don’t have to meet the demands and expectations of others if they are unreasonable, unrealistic or unfair. The trouble with being too nice all the time is that you can’t be yourself at any time. When you can’t be yourself, at least, for majority of the time, the psychological and physical tension can wear you out. Provided we are courteous observers of netiquette then who we are online ought to be the same “who” we are offline.
The golden rule your parents and your kindergarten teacher taught you was pretty simple: Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you. Imagine how you’d feel if you were in the other person’s shoes. Stand up for yourself, but try not to hurt people’s feelings. — The Core Rules of Netiquette
See also: 10 Rules That Govern Groups
On one hand, increased communication on the internet is beneficial is that it allows people like me, who are less personable and outgoing, to feel less inhibited to communicate. On the other, the disadvantage of an internet based society is the ability to fantasize and create enemies and conflict where none ought to exist.
Online what we see is a computer screen. There are no visual clues — no body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice to transmit meaning. In cyber relationships, we have only words. In the absence of sensory input online we can believe we know someone well when we really don’t actually know them at all. How this happens is easily explained; we tend to create the missing data with our imagination. We can easily make huge mistakes because it’s easy to forget that the others we communicate with are feelings like our own.
Online friendships can be very real and very valuable, and when compared to face -to-face friendships they have different strong and weak points. While blogging is built on relationships, and while good manners (netiquette) always ought to prevail, I think we all need to recognize that not everyone will like us or what we have to say, and some will even read emotions and motives into what we say that don’t exist at our end.
People pleasing pressure
Blogging is competitive and as blogging becomes more and more a means of making an income online for a growing number of people, all bloggers are under increasing pressure to create a charismatic online presence. If we lose our sense of balance, and cross the “to thine own self be true” line online, in order to secure friends, readers and/or customers by projecting a phony “nice” personality we will sacrifice authenticity. Consequently, for bloggers it’s equally important that we manage our online presence in a manner that’s respectful of others, while still remaining true to ourselves.
Managing your online presence
The advent of Web 2.0 and activities like blogging and social networking have completely changed the way people communicate and interact. Social media are online media, which share most or all of the following characteristics:
Online reputation resources and tools
One of the most powerful (and easiest) methods to begin to control your reputation in the search engine result pages (SERPs) is to create social profiles on major social media websites.
For managing your online reputation, consider checking out these 6 tools: