This week’s lecture was quite the informative one. Prior to the lecture, I had heard about the concept of “digital footprints” and how everyone online has one. Essentially, digital footprints are like little bread crumbs that get left behind after each website that you visit, any video that you watch or Google search that you do. These breadcrumbs can help advertising sites tailor advertisements to your interests and what you have been viewing online.
A question was posed during class; “When did your digital footprint begin?”
I thought about it, and I couldn’t even remember! I feel like I have been online for the majority of my life since the web is something that I’ve grown up with. Everyday, I check my Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and email. I’ll surf the web, usually various shopping websites and watch YouTube videos. Oh, and of course, Netflix. I have always been extra careful about my privacy settings on social media. Although my accounts are all private, I know that in reality, they aren’t. All of these sites are free to use because, in return, my data is being sold to different companies. I know that this is a bold statement to make, but, from the lecture to news articles and videos about this topic, it’s safe to say that what I share isn’t private.
I’m not saying that social media is bad. I love it. I think it’s a great way to share and communicate with your friends and family. I’m on the complete opposite side of the country from my family but, I know that they’re also only one Skype call away. Digital identities are all determined by the user. They can positively showcase your personality, beliefs and opinions. However, digital identities can easily be neglected and misused. Employers are using social media more and more these days to find out more about potential candidates that they could hire. One bad post could be the difference between you landing the job and being passed over. Being able to understand your own digital footprint will help you navigate the digital world a bit more carefully.