a) How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.
A digital footprint is there for eternity, unlike a letter or note, you cannot erase it. Social media is a platform for self-expression and at times we lack self control in our expression due to a high level of emotion. One might say something crude or brash in a heated moment. Employers may look at your digital footprint for any red flags. They may find things that go against their morals or criteria in your footprint, thus, costing you your opportunity. Another example is if two students are competing for a spot in a university. They may have nearly identical applications and the school cannot decide who to pick. In that scenario, they may check your digital footprint. If they find unprofessional and brash words in your footprint it can weigh their opinion negatively, costing you your university spot.
b) Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.
1. Use the motto T.H.I.N.K. This motto stands for truthful, hurtful, illegal, necessary, and kind. If what you are posting does not follow these guidelines than chances are, you shouldn’t be posting it.
2. Make your accounts private and only add friends. On platforms like Instagram and Facebook you can control who can see your feed. Make sure to only add people you have met and had a conversation with. Don’t even add a friend of a friend, keep it to your tight circle.
3. Make sure you are mature enough to handle social media. Many young children get social media without fully understanding the negative side effects it can cause. Before one gets social media they should make sure they are old and mature enough to handle it. My recommendation is someone at least 13 years old.
c)If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently online? Think of what type of advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students. How could you go about explaining it to them?
I first got instagram during grade 4 and I posted some severely embarrassing photos. Since then I have lost the password to my grade 4 account, leaving those photos up for the world to see. If I could do something differently I would have waited until grade 6 or 7 to get Instagram. The advice I would pass on to younger students and past me would be don’t rush getting social media. Take your time and don’t let your peers pressure you, because ultimately you have to make sure you have a strong sense of self and are not easily influenced before taking a dive into the deep end. I would explain this to them by sharing experiences of those who were too young, got social media, and ended up getting cyber bullied, embarrassed, and hurt. Then I will say, “make sure you are old enough to handle these things in the event that they happen to you.” Hopefully this will scare them a bit into waiting until they are fully ready!