Your image search results can have an impact on your future. If you don’t use a healthy amount of caution when it comes to what you put out there for the world to see online and on social media, then you can begin to develop a negative digital footprint.
Why should students care about their image search results?
- Everything you do online adds to your digital footprint, from your tagged pictures to your comments on YouTube
- Having a negative digital footprint can make it difficult to someday get into your dream college or dream career
Why do colleges care?
- Colleges have so many applicants, that they want to look at the ones who are the most positive, authentic and fun online (instead of people who are negative)
- When colleges search applicants online, they look at their digital footprint to get a more complete picture of what kind of student the applicant is
Activities that can negatively impact your image results:
- Taking photos holding alcohol
- Sticking your tongue out (or flipping off the camera in a casual manner)
- Photos of you at a famous landmark being disrespectful
- Sharing photos of your friends being irresponsible
What to do when friends tag you in pictures:
- If the picture doesn’t positively add to your digital footprint then ask the person who posted to delete the image
- Ask them to consider sharing the photo privately through texting
- Remind them that once a photo is online, anyone can share it
- Change the settings on your accounts to make it difficult for people to tag you in photos
- Remember that you can only control what you do; you can’t control what others post
How to take images that will have a positive impact on your digital footprint:
- Whenever it’s appropriate, volunteer your phone to take a group picture at the end of successful group projects (or at a fun event)
- Be sure to include a sincere THANK YOU to the organization (and other participants) for the chance to be involved and a description of the project. Colleges love to learn more about the event in the message box
3 ways to remove bad Google results:
- Did you post it?
Take it down
- Did a friend post it?
Ask them to take it down
- Did someone with your same name post it?
Post positive photos/videos to move their bad results down to page 2, 3 or 4 of Google