Summertime is a time to develop a digital landscape.

Digital citizenship is a phrase we hear a lot, especially as it pertains to young people.

Today your online reputation can and will dictate your future, so it’s important to start early in creating a digital platform.

Some 75 percent of colleges will preview a student’s online behavior prior considering them for acceptance, while 70 percent of employers will screen your social media before inviting you for an interview.

Creating a positive digital image will affect their future. It is a fact, there will come a time when your child’s name will be put through the Internet wash-cycle and how it spins out will depend on how they have maintained it through the years.

Most know that although we should disconnect frequently over the summer and spend more face-to-face time with our families, there will still be more screen time during the summer months.

Let’s be sure your teen’s digital resume is ready for their future.

Have they started their blog yet? If they have it is important to keep it updated and if they haven’t it is a perfect time to get started.

Keep in mind professionalism is always a priority, you never get a second chance to make a first impression! Your blog is not to impress your friends — it is to help maintain your teen’s online reputation and give insights for others to learn more about your teen’s goals, interests and personality.

Where to start:

1) Select a blogging site. These are the most frequently used and are free.

  • WordPress
  • Blogger (You will need a gmail account).

2) What to blog about and update frequently:

  • Your interests (sports, animals, health, etc)
  • Travel reviews
  • Restaurant and movie reviews
  • Summer camp reviews
  • Community events
  • Local clubs you are a member of
  • School events you attended
  • Current events
  • Anything that is relevant to you

3) What to avoid:

  • Profanity, nudity
  • Uploading provocative photos
  • Writing negative or slanderous content
  • Never lie
  • Don’t over-share your personal information or others

4) Blogging tips:

  • Use your name in the URL when creating your blog. For example
  • Take the time to review your blog settings, including the comments moderation. Are you comfortable with open comments or would you rather moderate them before they are posted?
  • Select a template that is easy to read for potential college recruiters and future employers. Remember this is not about your friends.
  • The Internet is permanent, you should have zero expectation of privacy online. Publish with care.
  • Use photos and images! It keeps people engaged and coming back. Remember to be sure you have permission to use the images.
  • Keep it positive. If you are having a bad day, simply don’t post.

The most important tip is to get started creating your digital footprint. A blog can be a step into your teen’s future that can help them your land their college of first choice and a job that they dreamed of.

Your teen’s name will be searched online. Their social media networking behavior will be analyzed and their blogs of their interests will also be read.

Social media is not always in our control, especially when you have unknown virtual friends commenting, copying, pasting and posting with your teen’s name — however your teen’s personal blog is in their total control. Encourage them to start one today.

Digital citizenship is today’s future.