Our digital footprints that are everything on the Internet show who we are. That include anything we have written or that has been written about us on discussion boards, blogs, or in articles, pictures and videos we (our friends and family) have posted online.
Each time we add something about ourselves on the Internet we expose ourselves. Whenever we mention someone else, we expose him/ her. However, we are encouraged to show our presence online and make them freely available to view.
My colleague Ms. Seed mentions that whether we like it or not, we are all creating a digital footprint and we can approach this phenomenon in one of two ways, that of fear, suspicion, paranoia and trepidation or enthusiasm, opportunism and pro-activism.
To be honest, my approach is the former, more fear than enthusiasm. The fact our digital presence can be monitored by individuals, looking for information about us, frightened me. Therefore, I start to search the advantages that a digital footprint can offer us.
Here are some advantages.
- We can build a positive online presence that showcases our skills, experience and interest. Moreover, with some online sites, we can control the information about us that is publicly available.
- An online profile that includes our CV can expand our range of contacts.
- Professional networking sites can give us access to potential employers, whose digital footprint we can also check.
I also find that keeping a positive online presence regularly updated can reduce the impact of any earlier content we may regret, because most Internet searches rarely access more than the top few results.
Those advantages still can’t remove the risks that we might have, but whether we like it or not, if we can’t hide ourselves on the Internet, we need to know how to manage our online presences; moreover as educators we need to show our students the phenomenon and the two ways of approaches to overcome our fears.
image CC licensed on flickr: OllieBray