Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Have you 'Googled' yourself lately?

The first time I ‘Googled’ my name I was aghast. Everything about my online life opens for the world to view. My home address was easily accessible. A map appeared to conveniently offer the best route to visit me. Being educated before the invention of Google, ethical protocol dictated a clear line between a client and therapist’s personal life. An unlisted number and private address helped to keep my professional life from bleeding to my personal one. This first Google opened my eyes to a changing world. Technology advances shift therapeutic boundaries making the practitioner work to maintain good ethics.

Google brings everything to the personal, so I keep everything professional and positive. Be aware of what you are posting, on which sites, under what names. Contests, reviews, dating sites, social networks, are all up for exposure. Some sites offer privacy settings. Pinterest offers a setting so your account is not searchable on search engines. Another option is to create an alter ego in signing up for websites. Either choice is to protect you and the clients you serve. Once something is on the Net it is difficult to delete, if not impossible. The Internet is a living tattoo you are creating on the skin of your career. Make sure this tattoo speaks to your brand, not generating a stigma hurting your reputation.