Isn’t the internet just one giant fishbowl? Or can we call that an aquarium? The world can see your every movement online and examine your online personality as long as they know how and where to search. People can find the “real” you online. Anyone who thinks they are hiding online is dead wrong. Your online life is open for the world to see. You must embrace this idea, or learn to live offline. Warning: this fishbowl comes equipped with a search engine.
The article Beware: the Internet could own your future lays out the potential pitfalls of life online. The idea that nothing is ever deleted is frighting. Luckily my online life didn’t begin until college. But what if I had been posting in middle school? Certainly the comments would make me cringe, not to mention the photos!
I did attempt to Google myself and little was surprised that nothing unexpected came up. Should I be saddened at my lack of online scandal or excited that I have managed to remain below the radar? I value my privacy, particularly in my personal life. Putting my professional self online for all to see is easy. I have few reservations about projecting my professional self online. I have several class blogs and use Altas Rubicon to post my curriculum for the online teaching community to see. But then there is the personal me. I explain the difference to my students using my two Facebook profiles. “There is the teacher me, Miz Leonardis. But there is another me, Sarah Leonardis. I am not sure the two mes would get along. The other me does exist, but you guys don’t need to know her.” I must have the division. The internet makes it difficult. With the fishbowl, I can’t hide. If someone really wants to find me, they will.
Part of me wants to get offline to never return and retreat to my place of privacy and anonymity. Yet the other part of me knows that it’s impossible. If you want to be a part of today’s society, you must be online. We have built a society that doesn’t allow one to maintain a sense of privacy if you want to be a part of what is happening.
Still, as much as “they” are watching you, you are watching them.