There’s nothing like Googling your name. When I Googled, I realized that I share a name with an author of some interesting romance and paranormal fiction. My actual Facebook profile was on the first page as well, but it was not for several pages later that I found my school work and other links related to me. Part of me is relieved that so little about me is available upon first Google; however, for the purposes of this assignment, I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
I’m a very private person. On any accounts that I do have online, I spend a lot of time customizing the privacy settings, making sure that anything on the Internet is representative of who I am. I have not always been the best at it, but as someone who lives with an HR man, I know the impact that my online presence can have on my reputation and first impression.
My opinion on digital footprints changes from day-to-day. I’m neither pleased nor displeased with my “Google-bility.” However, I am proud of all the products that I’ve created in the MET program and would not mind for them to be more public than they are. Unless closely monitored, I think digital footprints are like quicksand – you’re drowning before you know the danger you’ve walked into. Professionally, I think digital footprints can help as much as they hurt, and I wish more people would consider the impact they are having on their reputation before they post.
My own digital footprint is very small. Like I said, I’m very protective of my online image because I worked online for so long and that was the only way people across the country could get a feel for who I was as a person. I do think, given my interest in technology, that I need to do a better job of building that image, perhaps through LinkedIn and other professional sites. I have also wanted to create a classroom website for quite a while but have not had the time. Perhaps that professional website would increase my digital footprint in a positive (and comfortable) way.