The Online You vs. The Real You: How Do Others See You?

January 27, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

In a world where transparency is not only advocated but becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives, and the way you appear to the outside world thereby dictates a large percentage of how people react to you, it’s worth the time to reflect: Exactly how does the world see me? And, am I projecting the right image to get to where I want to go?

No More Incognito.  Social media, web cams, trackable links, google analytics, the list goes on and on and they are all in the favor of exposing you – everything about you – to the rest of the world. For good or bad, this is where the future lies; getting to know someone before you even meet them. So, take the time to get to know the ‘virtual you’. Is she/he the same person? A perfect place to start, if you’re a professional, is by scanning your LinkedIn page and looking at the skills in which you have been endorsed.  These are the skills a stranger will use to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Do those skills reflect the real you?

Finally, a Good Excuse to Google Yourself.  I’m sure you’ve done so already in the past but now Google yourself with only one intention in mind: What do all these snippets of information add up to if someone doesn’t yet know the whole version of me? I once met a man who ran a very exclusive networking group outside of NYC. In order to be invited your name had to be submitted by a current guest and the founder would then look you up on the internet to see if you were worthwhile to invite. Now, this might sound a bit extreme but it’s no different from employers, sponsors or even a online dater trying to sneak a peak before the real thing actually appears. In this case, that thing is you.

There’s Batman and Then There’s Bruce Wayne. Which One Is The World Meeting First? Think of your virtual self as a billboard for all to see – what would you want it to look like? This should be what others find when they are looking you up online. By making sure that people meet the Superman version of you first you are ensuring a positive first impression. The more you reflect out what you want other people to see about you, the more you solidify a certain kind of image within their minds. Now, Batman never lied about his superpowers so the same is expected from you. Don’t claim glory to something you know isn’t true. After all, we do live in an era of transparency and you most likely will be found out. Instead try to promote your accomplishment and personality traits. The more someone thinks they have something in common with you the more likely they are to bond with you upon your first meeting.

Your Mom Begged You to Take It Outside and I Am Begging You To Take It Offline. Truth is, no matter how hard you try or how much money you pay your SEO or SEM agency, the true you will never be 100% reflected online. So, always when given the opportunity take things offline where you can create a human bond (much stronger than an online connection) with someone. Relationships, after all, are the starting point of civilization and are what is so basically human (and fabulous) about us.

How do you think people see you? Let us know below or email us at