A digital footprint… Honestly, it’s not something I thought about much before this course. I figured if someone is interested in knowing where I have been and what I am doing, they must be really bored. My life is interesting to me, my family and my friends… but anyone else, well, why?
Now that I am blogging, my thoughts on my digital footprint are changing. I want people read what I write. I put time into my posts – some more than others – but many are thought out and I do like to see that someone has read them and even better when they respond.
This makes me think about our students. They don’t really think about who outside their target audience will see their footprint; much like I used to think. The next question is: is it our responsibility to educate them in this area. Yes – I think it is. Will they get it? Not entirely, but someone needs to start the thoughts in their head and maybe even reinforce what their parents might be telling them.
In the article, Your online reputation can hurt your job search, Kim Komando goes straight to advice about how to fix the problems that already exist: take down inappropriate content you have posted, email the sites that you don’t control and ask that they take down unflattering content, essentially it is damage control.
I want our students to take a step back and think about what they are posting before they post it. (I actually think I may be speaking a bit as a mom here.) So, my challenge and maybe ours as educators, is how do we do this? What is our responsibility?
A few weeks ago, The Today Show had a piece (Can employers ask for your Facebook password?) on companies that not only check out your footprint by visiting your social media sites, they actually are going as far as to say to an interviewee, log on to your Facebook account so I can access your account. Not, show me your Facebook page, no, log into your page and let me have full access. If you don’t, we won’t hire you. I was shocked when I heard this – but they quoted several places doing this as a standard part of the interview process. It is apparently very common if you are interviewing in the field of law enforcement and the financial industry.
I personally think this is going too far. That’s like saying, let me have your password to your email account so I can read all your email, etc. It is way beyond our digital footprint and online reputation. It’s private.
What do you think?