A rolling stone

My first Coetail post outlined my great enthusiasm for technology and my great disdain for “connectedness” and social media. I had over the years engaged in a determined effort to avoid any online presence.  Whilst some people google their name to see what comes up about them I would google my name to double check that nothing about me could be found. However, two coetailers have recently spurred me to change my direction. The first coetailer (whom I cannot remember) wrote a blog focused on the Course 2, Week 1 content regarding digital privacy and digital footprints. When considering what his children’s online footprint might one day look like he queried wether it would be worse to have an online profile with some negative elements or to have no online profile at all. The second coetailer Ben Sheridan tweeted a link to collusion for googlewhich I downloaded and installed.

Some rights reserved by juhansonin

After doing so I realised that even my seemingly proactive steps to reamain anonynmous and without a digital presence were to little avail. I also began to consider my own future and what a potential employer might think when they google me and I am nowhere to be found.  Will my future job applications be automatically disregarded like those people on dating sites who don’t post a photo?

So I have decided to conceed. Instead of hiding my online presence I will let it grow.  Already I have updated my facebook page (for the first time in five years). I have tweeted, I have joined pinetrest, google + and even my most loathed site, LinkedIn. Furthermore, I have an actual photo of me in all of my profile pictures and I have linked all my previously isolated email accounts and subscriptions into one account. I have even used my real name in all the sites that I belong to.

So I am now at the mercy of the web but I am still only connected in body rather than spirit.    It is my intention to let my online profile grow rather than aggressively self-promote the online me.  I won’t be tweeting my stream of consciousness throughout the day and I am still yet to click on any like or share buttons.  I’ll see how it goes.

 Not all images could be attributed as compfight kept crashing.  I will try to rectify this later.

4 thoughts on “A rolling stone

  1. Great post. I feel the same way you do. I enjoy reading blogs and use facebook, but am leary about writing on people’s walls for all to see. I prefer to leave a private message to a friend. This course has changed my views about remaining anonymous and hope I can continue to see my online prescence grow gradually. Maybe I will be googled for the next job I apply for. Let’s hope I have some great insights between now and then so I can get more connected online.

  2. I guess I missed Ben Sheridan’s blog – and link to the disconnect.me website. I went to check it out after reading your post here. Very interesting explanation and video on their website, and I plan to download and check it out – see who is getting my information. Really interested to see it “grow.”

    In Will Richardson’s article, he talked about kids having no digital footprint, which was a perspective I had not thought about previous. After reading Jeff’s post on the COETAIL site, I got another new perspective. I was used to looking at a digital footprint from the negative side. Words like “protect,” “safety,” and “beware” come to mind. I am not saying these are not important considerations, but Jeff’s post gave me another way to think about it. What about constructing a positive footprint? Words like “build” and “create” now come to mind as well. For me, it is just a new window into this issue. I don’t plan to ignore the other – just look out the both, instead.

  3. Andrew, you’ve done a great job of articulating the struggle that exists inside so many of us not born with a mobile computing device in hand. Personal privacy versus professional sustainability. I wonder, will our kids see this as a challenge, or will the question of privacy become mute? I wouldn’t want to see the images of my adolescence and early twenties splayed across the screen for all to see, judge and deem employable or not. Everyone needs a bit of privacy, even if they don’t realize it at the time. Fingers crossed that we can figure out how to instill that one.

  4. Hi Andrew,
    I tried to bring back internet links from my past (1993-1998) using a Google search but they are long gone. Any negative consequences to your digital profile due to your laissez faire approach should be short lived. The unfortunate part is the positive links will also disappear with time. Creating a digital profile is better than striving to have none as pointed out but Bob Dylan, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

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