Editor’s Column: First Impressions

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You never get a second chance to

make a first impression.

~ Will Rogers

Most of us remember hearing that quote or something similar from a parent or a teacher or a coach, usually when we were on the way to a date or a job interview. If you took it seriously, it inspired you to make an effort when you left the house to be relatively clean, appropriately dressed, and at least somewhat put-together. How you presented yourself to family and close friends — people who already knew you — was another matter entirely. After all, they already knew you.

There was a time when you determined what a new place was like by visiting, or by reading travel brochures, or asking the residents themselves. Your research about a community was pretty limited.

That’s no longer true.

Our first impressions about people, places, and things are now most likely to come from the internet and social media. So here’s a question: what first impression are we making as a community?

Some correspondence I received this week brought that principle to light in a new way. What do prospective newcomers see when they get online and look up Rio Blanco County, or Meeker, or Rangely? If they stick to websites, they’ll get the glossy equivalent of a travel brochure. But what do they see when they dig into social media and do a little research on the place they’ve applied for a job, or their possible future employers or co-workers or neighbors?

We have a tendency to act like we’re “at home” with family and friends when we get online, forgetting that we aren’t just representing ourselves, we’re representing our community for all the world to see in our posts, our profiles, and our comments.

Just something to consider.

By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com