Whether we like it or not, all too often the blog world can seem a lot like being back at school - rumours fly naturally in an environment wherein most of the people know at least of each other, we share news instinctively and it doesn't matter whether we care to admit it, we definitely all talk about each other, even if it isn't online. However, I'm not bitter - seriously, I'm not. I know that when I'm putting my entire life online for people to read, and as more and more people come to read it as is happening lately - I'm not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and I honestly don't mind if you're telling your mum how annoying you think I am over your brew tonight.
Having said that - how we conduct ourselves online is important. This isn't a tone down your swearing, don't post drunk photographs, be nice in the eyes of PR people type post; all those things are your call - this is about other people's reputation online. Although the environment can seem like school, many of us have a lot more to lose than our street cred (wow, I just turned from 21 to 50 in one single phrase). It's easy to forget when we're on chats and using GIFS on a day to day basis but for a lot of people this is, or at least they hope that one day it will be, a viable business option.
When you're airing any kind of dirty laundry online about another blogger, particularly by name - you're not only ruining your own reputation with brands, PR's and other potential opportunities that might come from social media, you're also ruining theirs. There's barely any blogging scandals that we, as bloggers, forget - and so I'm willing to put money on the idea that the same names stick in the heads of PR's, many times simply because people put things up on Twitter in anger. I'm not judging you for doing it, I've done my fair share of naming and shaming - particularly when I was at school, sorry gang - however back then, the most I was going to lose was a phone contact of somebody I barely spoke to, now I could be ruining the chances of getting noticed positively for somebody.
It's important to remember that although we are immersed in this life - people that we know fall into two categories if we met them through blogging; friends or acquaintances. You wouldn't ruin the chances of a friend, and if somebody isn't a big enough part of your life to be considered a friend - you probably don't know enough about them to be ruining their reputation online. Living through social media can be difficult (although I often like it a lot better than actually talking to people...) as things can be misconstrued simply by the use of a wrong emoji, and I've found the best way around it is to remember that, although sometimes Twitter drama takes me back to being sixteen years old, we're actually adults - and we're grown up enough to take our problems to each other instead of splashing them across the internet for the world to see.
So next time you go to post something about someone, please just take the time to remember that there's a lot at stake - for some people this is a career or a future career, and you could ruin it in a single moment of anger over something you possibly read wrong.
What do you think about reputations online?