Would you leave the curtains of your living room open all night if you knew the whole world could see you? Probably not. And yet, you would be surprised at how many people have never taken the time to Google themselves and filter through the results.
Prospective love interests, employers, friends, and business partners all use online search and social media “mapping” to establish a clear profile of who you are before they ever even meet you.
While this is widely accepted as a perk of living in the digital age, you may not be fully aware of how much is on display for a wide audience or how negative articles and data could hurt you. Or worse yet, if someone with the exact same name is causing damage to your reputation.
The latest episode of "Self Help For Your Digital Soul" explores these problems — and how you can fix them.
So if you are like any of these individuals, you have some homework to do.
Register your name across multiple social media platforms. Make sure your website has tags and metadata so that it can be attributed back to you. Fill out your G+ profile because it’s ranked highly in Google search. Create a blog and consistently update it to keep your search engines happy. If you have a common name, use your middle name or an initial to help yourself stand out.
And just remember: what pops up in a Google search — from your Facebook page to criminal records — is more important than a first impression. If your search results are negative, you may never even get a foot in the door.
Taryn Southern is a YouTuber — YouTube.com/Taryn — writer, and comedian whose videos have more than 500 million views across the Internet. This is Episode 2 in her TODAY.com series, "Self Help for the Digital Soul."