The Power of Gossip
Many of us have been negatively influenced by the power of gossip. It can be devastating, particularly if the rumors are not true. People begin to talk about you behind your back and relay information to one another. Every time the story is told, you become more of a villain. This phenomenon is even more deadly on the Internet because it has longevity. There are several consequences to this negative branding.
You Could Lose A Job
Employers do not want to be represented by individuals who descend into infamy. If you were to come into the public spotlight for some misdeed that you allegedly committed, it would reflect poorly on your employer. The public would have an expectation of them. The employer would be expected to fire you. Further, they would probably not want you to be there because of the negative influence that you would bring to the workplace. All of this could be the result of negative branding. An employer could see something that was published on the Internet, assume it was true without checking the facts, and then fire you.
You Could Lose A Date
Maybe you have been crushing on somebody a long time. You dream of the day that you will finally go out on a date. As you are preparing for a lovely evening with your newfound love, imagine that you receive a text message. They cancel the date on you because they found a disturbing article about you on the Internet that was written by one of your ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends. The information in that article could be years old, or it might not even be true. But it does not matter. People do not want to be involved when that risk is present. That is why they often conduct searches on the Internet for people with whom they are going on a date. They want to know who this person is. So when you give somebody your name, you are giving them more than a title. You are giving them your reputation. They only need to do a brief search on the Internet to find everything that they need to know about you.
You probably have a group of friends with whom you do things on Friday night. They might come over to play a game of cards or you might go out to a nice restaurant. Well, suppose one weekend, you were out and they started quizzing you about some strange article that they found on the Internet. You explain your side, but they remain skeptical of you. You have essentially lost the trust of your closest friends because of negative branding. Something was on the Internet and they believed what they read.
Relocation Will Not Help
Often when you develop a poor reputation in one city, you can move to another that does not know your name. You essentially have an opportunity to start afresh. Nobody knows about these vicious rumors or believes them. But the power of negative branding extends even to multiple cities. People in different cities can still access the Internet and learn information about you. This means that no matter where you go, old rumors will still crop up and haunt you if you have not properly branded yourself. Your Internet reputation is your worldwide reputation.