As the mother of a daughter in college, I worry about how she presents herself online. Does she use four-letter words, rant about a roommate's habits, or tweet about her own exploits, as many young people do? I worry that she may unthinkingly share a side of herself that she ought to keep private. (She keeps any such behavior private from me, but that's because I am her mother.)
If you are a parent of an adolescent or are a relative of a young person, you probably share my fears. For a variety of reasons–including their future employment chances–we do not want our children presenting themselves repulsively online.
I have a different fear for many people who post online, even on this site. They don't swear, attack, expose or complain. But–
They make themselves seem illiterate.
I am thinking of people who make blog comments like this: "thanx for the tips they really helped me"–with no punctuation or capitalization. Then they include their full name, sometimes even with a middle initial.
A company doing a web search might find their comments and judge them unemployable because of their poor writing. The individuals might lose a job opportunity simply because they did not take the time to write, "Thanks for the tips. They really helped me."
I know I would never hire an employee or even a contract employee who showed up that way online.
How do you feel about this issue? Would you, like me, judge people based on the correctness of their online comments? Or should I cast off my schoolmarm's persona and lighten up? I would love to read your opinions.