Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Social Networking: My Digital Footprint (Or Lack Thereof)

I agree that in the world today, digital footprints are pretty much unavoidable. With technology becoming a bigger part of the world, everyone is communicating more and more online. Whether it be for social reasons, school, work, or anything else; almost everyone has some type of digital account. I also remember when I began using social media, being told to be very careful with what the public could see and couldn’t see. I also find myself reminding my students of this daily and how what’s found about them online will affect them the rest of their lives whether it affects them positively or negatively. I believe digital footprints can definitely be used for great reasons, but also how dangerous it can be for some if they are not careful. If you use it the right way, it can positively impact your job for instance versus negative digital footprints keeping you from getting the job you always wanted. Digital footprints are unavoidable, but you can control what type of digital footprint is left for you.

With that said, when I go to look for my digital footprint, I know there won’t be anything that will negatively affect me. As far as my personal accounts go, I am a very private person. However, I know work resources or school resources may be more out in the open. When I google my name, I do not show up on any of the first results pages at all. I believe this is because of the fact that my personal accounts are private. However, I also believe this has a lot to do with what my name is. When searching “Kathleen Johnson”, there a ton of results. Not only does Kathleen seem to be a big hit, but my last name Johnson is an even bigger one. Therefore, I began to make my search a little more specific. After I didn’t come up with anything using just my name, I added Greenville, SC to the end of it. Once I did that, one result of mine was on the first page. It was the link to the mathematics department page for the high school that I work at. After that, there was no more about me under Greenville, SC which isn’t surprising since I’ve only been here for three years. As I added other places I have lived to the end of my name, I found a few more results from posts through my classes at Clemson University to the link to my brother and sister in laws wedding website, but again, not much more.

Overall, I would say my digital footprint is really small. When it comes to my personal life and accounts, I’m completely fine with that. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to my digital footprint growing positively in relation to teaching and education. I think this master’s program and this class more specifically will be a great way to help with that. 

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