Yesterday I finally entered the 21st century and committed myself to social networking--meaning that I launched a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account (God help me!), and created a LinkedIn profile. Yikes! And all of this makes me think about how lucky I was to travel through adolescence without the world wide web looking over my shoulder. True, it was somewhat cumbersome to limit my term paper research to library books (imagine the horror!). And undoubtedly I would have enjoyed the conveniences of emails and camera phones while shopping for prom dresses and dishing about my latest crush. But for what I missed out on in convenience I made up for in privacy. The privacy, for instance, to mature in the quiet spaces of my bedroom and the local Wendy’s and my high school cafeteria WITHOUT fear of my every move being diabolically archived for an eternity in digital form.
You get what I’m saying, here? I shudder to think of the possibilities. Me, sporting an unsightly hickey at track practice (ahem...I might have been a teensy bit boy crazy as a teen). Or me, trying on profanity for size just to impress my pubescent peers. Even worse, me caught being cruel to another girl less popular than my crowd. Or spreading gossip. Or rolling the bottom of my jeans.
All I can say is that I am sooo thankful that those images/videos of me happened before Web 2.0, and thus my reputation was safely sheltered long enough for me to find my bearings.
My point with all of this? I’m getting to one--I promise. You see, one of the features of a woman with je ne sais quoi is that her public image is consistent. The person you see at the party is the same person you’d see at the grocery store. Thus, you wouldn’t be...say...shocked to find her prim and proper at Tuesday’s church group after glimpsing a topless photo of her on Facebook after Saturday night’s happy hour. And you wouldn’t be disappointed to learn that she was both a gracious and polite hostess while also being a malicious gossip. And though you might find some unflattering photos of her rolling her jeans in junior high, she doesn’t engage in that kind of behavior any more.
In other words, she has integrity. She doesn’t pretend to be one type of person among certain company, and then change to suit a different crowd. And for heaven’s sakes, she takes a regular inventory of herself on the internet and pulls up the weeds!
With this type of woman, what you see is what you get. Her presence isn’t pretense.
What are your thoughts on managing your image in today's culture, with all of our fancy technology? I'd love to hear, so share your comments below!