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4 Powerful Steps for Your Digital Detox (And Why You Need One!)

Youíve heard no end of detox plans. Hereís another one. And it might be one of the most useful yet! Read on to know how you can detox your virtual self. And why itís high time you should!
BY Skendha Singh |   06-02-2015
You’re sitting in front of the Interview Board wearing a crisp shirt, well-creased trousers and your best tie. To each googly that the Board bowls, you show the flat face of your bat. When you come away, only biological impediments restrain you from giving yourself a pat on the back.

But, somehow, you don’t get that seat. Or that job.

And you brood about it for a long time. But, as you hit replay on all your preparation -pause, and just consider the possibility that, however spic and span your appearance in person, it might, just might, be your online profile which is to blame for making a bad impression.

Like that angsty debate in the comments section of a feminist article. Or the fun you had spamming the Twitter feed of that detestable celebrity whose performance ruined your favourite book’s adaptation. And those rude jokes you made on a very public forum only for a bit of a laugh.

Well, unless you were aiming to be featured on that segment on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, let’s just say that such online antics don’t exactly boost your chances of acing admissions or job interviews.

Because the virtual is now real. For real.

The idea of the internet as a haven for escaping real life is now gone;it is an extension of your real life. That means accountability. Also, no more playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Your social media accounts, blogs, comments, emails and even all the fun you have with apps make your digital footprint. Increasingly, most recruiters are starting to scan an applicant’s digital footprint to gain a well-rounded view of their personality. While this practice is commoner among headhunters and job recruiters, it is becoming popular among college admissions staff as well.

So it’s on you to scrub up and appear squeaky clean online! Just like you do in person.

Ready for your makeover? Here’s what you need to do -

a) First, do a thorough self-search. Let’s be honest you probably have done, a few times. For those 1.53 seconds of feeling famous. Like what shows up? Great! Do you think your mum will too?

Let that be the gold standard. If it’s all clear, then good for you!

But, if what’s showing up makes you squirm, blush, and clap your laptop shut, read the next point.

b) Delete that stuff.  Photos, tweets, comments, blog posts. Whatever’s less than acceptable. (Imagine your Mum peering over your shoulder, as you consider.) This could be your MySpace account (if you still have one of those), or that defunct one on Blogger.

If you're not using it or you wouldn't show it to your folks, there is one mantra. Delete. Delete. Delete.

Or at least change those privacy settings. There’s no reason for the whole world to know exactly how you felt about your ex-roomie.

c) If you can’t delete . . . Ask nice.This is what is called the Zombie Effect. Nothing on the internet dies (like in your favourite T.V. show), it just gets archived and can potentially be restored to former glory. (I hear you, muffled swearer) So if something from the past comes back to haunt you, shows up on the search engine results, or another third party site, email them. Ask very politely that it be taken down because you have concerns. And they just might.

This is, however, the tricky bit. Try not to appear desperate. Because we all know what happened to Barbara Streisand.

d) If it’s still there and won’t go away. Like the gravy stain on your mother’s sofa, which you never heard the end of . . .  then, chin up and be prepared to discuss it at interviews.

Yes, you’re not a computer, and you were probably just so in love with that book, and you hated how the actor interpreted that character, and that’s precisely why you want to read Literature and Films.
Or you couldn’t bear the hygiene issues in the flat with your ex-roommate and that’s why you wrote such an impassioned blog post about it, and that is why you think you’d be a great Hospital Administrator.

And, of course, you’ve grown since then.

Basically, what this proves is, unlike what we assumed earlier – the real world and the world wide web are not two disparate realities. The virtual world is no longer an escape. Good manners, decency, making jokes for the appreciative audience, all of these are simple but effective ways for making a great online impression.

(Believe me, your mother’s going to be so proud!)



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