Will Social Media Improve Your Behavior?

by Brett Pollard on November 24, 2009

The Internet may help you become a better person

Yesterday I read a blog post from Dan Schawbel at PersonalBrandingBlog.com.  His premise was how he foresees a personal brand marketplace in the future.  Although he makes several interesting points, my mind keeps going back to one simple thing.  Dan suggests that individuals like you and I will be subject to a public, online rating system.

What will they say about you?

What will they say about you?

Before you dismiss this seemingly far-fetched notion, consider the following:

  • Doctors are rated by the public at over a dozen websites
  • Students and parents can rate their teachers online
  • CEOs/Executives are currently rated on various sites
  • Restaurants and virtually all businesses are rated everywhere from Google and other search engines to rating sites like Yelp

Given the direction of social media and user generated content, why wouldn’t some enterprising individuals create a platform where you can rate anybody.  Imagine if users could anonymously rate you.  How would they rate your kindness, trustworthiness, ethics, intelligence, etc?  After all, wouldn’t others be interested in learning this information about you?  How about employers, curious acquaintances, neighbors, colleges and more?

When considering the potential of such a future, I can’t help but wonder if the Internet will shape how people behave in their everyday lives.  If anyone could anonymously rate you (as an individual) online, would it change the way you regularly behave?  Would you be more likely to consider the consequences of your daily decisions – especially with respect to how those decisions affect others?  I propose that you would.

So the next time you start thinking that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, just remember that the Internet may just be making this a better world to live.

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