Everyone’s got one, from the least-social savvy to the technophile to the constantly-Tweeting millennial. Your online activity is saying a lot about you whether you realize it or not and your ability to get a date or a contract may hinge on this aspect of your life.
So, what kind of online persona do people assume you have when others search your name?
Examples: That girl you know from Calculus 1001; Miley Cyrus; any Kardashian
We all know one. They want to tell you about their kid’s bladder infection and they sure do hope you like that picture of their new pair of socks! Unfortunately oversharers are becoming more and more common as social becomes interwoven with the fabric of our society. This group needs the constant validation of social and will share just about anything if it gets them attention, good or bad. Are you an ovesharer? Odds are, you aren’t self-aware enough to know if you are but if you see a precipitous drop in your “likes,” “comments,” or “retweets” you can bet it’s because everyone hid you.
Examples: P.Diddy; Kevin Bacon; your crush
Everyone has a few friends in their social circle who seem to know everyone else. They’re who social media was designed for! You might be a connector if you’re constantly getting messages from friends looking for jobs, wanting an introduction to your hot coworker, or even unsolicited requests from strangers. Connectors are what keeps the social cog going because they’re polite, quick-to-respond, and they always make you feel like the most important person in the (chat) room. Being a connector is a valuable asset.
The Twitter Egg
Examples: John Doe; Your Dad; the blue silhouetted head on Facebook
These are the folks that sign up for a Facebook account, a Twitter profile, and set up a LinkedIn page because they know they’re “supposed to” but they couldn’t have less interest in social media. They filled out their interests three years ago (“I love LOST!”) and they’ve barely looked back since. If they didn’t get an email saying someone tagged them in a photo they’re not logging on. Sent them a direct message? Forget about ever getting a response.
Examples: Lady Gaga; Beyonce; Neil Patrick Harris
The online maven is one step ahead of the curve. They were LOLing at LOLcats long before the rest of us knew what was what and they’ve probably made a fortune already off of the Bitcoin stockpile they created back in 2011. These people are the holy grail for marketers and advertisers because they don’t care about what’s cool…they make things cool. How do you know if you’re a maven? If you have to ask, you aren’t.
Examples: Tyra Banks; Rihanna; Justin Bieber
These people live by the motto, “If it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen.” Knowing exactly what filter to use for any given moment is an art cultivated through years of practice and these people have it down. They’re the ones posting vacation pics on Facebook while they’re on vacation and you can count on them to immediately upload (and tag!) all the pictures from any given night. They’re also the most likely to be on their smartphones IRL because, hey, those classic moments aren’t going to capture themselves.
Examples: Alec Baldwin; Donald Trump; Betty White
You don’t want to be this guy. He’s just now giggling about Rickrolling and he probably still hasn’t heard of Vine. When you try and talk to him about Snapchat he asks you if it has anything to do with a Polaroid camera. He’s constantly blowing up your inbox with useless chain mail panic-fests and he’s sure the NSA is watching him, specifically. He’s probably trying to get your attention right now to show you the Harlem Shake.
Examples: Kylie Jenner; Oprah Winfrey; Kanye West
Curators look at their online persona as a time capsule, as a 2-D representation of themselves. They carefully cultivate an online treasure trove of links, shared content, and personally-posted snippets and pictures they deem valuable. Depending on how in tune they are with their audience, they can really be influential. Curators aren’t going to “like” your business page just because they went to high school with you. They’ve got an image to protect.
The good news is, your online persona can be altered! Pay attention to the trail you’re leaving, think twice before Tweeting, and always consider everything you do online etched in stone (screenshots, people.) Simply knowing you’ve got an online personality to worry about is half the battle.