Digital Footprint Assignment

1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

A way my digital footprint may affect my future opportunities negatively is finding a job. If I really didn’t care about my digital footprint and didn’t care about the nature of my posts, companies might see that and say that you’re not a good fit because of what you’ve shown on your social media. For example, if I sad a lot of foul languages, or was just in general really mean, companies who might’ve originally thought I could be a good fit would change their minds because they wouldn’t want someone like that as an employee. However, if everything you’ve done on social media is squeaky clean and they think you would be a good fit, there’s literally no way they wouldn’t hire you.

Another way my digital footprint could affect my future opportunities positively is when I’m trying to get into a University. If I had done the smart move and started frequently posting about achievements in something that I want to do, the University may look at it and say: “Hey, look at this person, he’s gotten amazing grades and he’s also a volunteer, tutor, and so much more! He’d be a great candidate!” However, that’s only if I am careful with my digital footprint though. If I’m not, it may become the opposite, and the University just rejects me after they see that I’m not that good of a person outside of school because I had posted a bunch of pictures of getting drunk or publicly supported things that wouldn’t be appropriate.

2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

A strategy to keep my digital footprint appropriate and safe would be to think about what I’m going to post, whether it will be appropriate or not, and what the possible effects it would have on my future. For example, if I am about to post something regarding a political topic, I would need to stop and think. Political topics are heavily debated over and many arguments happen because of political reasons. First, would this post be appropriate? Well, I’d say it is, I’m just sharing my opinion over a political topic, but if the social media I’m sharing this on is meant to show a good picture of me, then publicly arguing with someone probably isn’t a good idea.  Second, I would have to think of the possible effects it would have on my future. For example, if you had just openly argued/debated publicly with another person online on this topic, then when you go to a job interview, and they see that you had a public (not even private) argument with someone, they might think that you have a nasty temper and is someone who is violent. They would then probably not hire you because of this.

Another strategy that I could use to keep my digital footprint appropriate and safe would be to start practicing not using as much foul language. Online through chat groups, I’m sad to say that I am quite foul-mouthed. However, I have been practicing not cursing or swearing as much anymore, and I am glad to say my friends agree with me too. This has also flowed over into just everyday texting as well, whereas before I would just drop swears like it was no big deal, I’ve been consciously making myself not to, and I think I’m making a better impression on people that I meet. Practicing doesn’t only have to include using fewer profanities, I could also practice maybe my grammar while typing to seem more professional. This is so when people look at my posts or conversations, they’ll say “Wow! This guy’s grammar is spot on! He looks sounds so professional!” Who knows, maybe this could also help me land a job that requires a professional work attitude sometime in the future.

Also, a strategy that I could use to make sure my social media presence stays appropriate and safe is by not associating myself with people who may possibly harm my digital footprint. This could include people who are mean, nasty or are generally identified as bad people. If I did associate myself with them, then if I even had a clean social media presence, people would see that I’m associated with those people and doubt that what I’ve posted or talked about is actually what I’m like in the real world. If they were in some trouble, people that see me associated (as a friend or something) with them would assume that I would also get into trouble as well. They could also include me in topics or conversations I want no part in, whether that be by accident or on purpose. However, If I weren’t associated with them, then none of this would happen. I’ve already been distancing from people that I don’t think would a particularly good influence on me, and now I have to go one step further to not associate with people that I think could affect my future negatively if I did.

3. If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would do differently online? Think of what advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students.

If the time machine worked multiple times, then I would definitely go back in time to when I was just about to start grade 5. During this year, I wasn’t confident and socially awkward (which I still somewhat am). Because of these reasons, I couldn’t effectively make friends and get to know people as well as I could today. I was also seen as “weird” because I didn’t know what was “popular” back then, and what phrases were popular. If I got a chance to go back to that time period, I would definitely tell my younger self to be more confident, and get better at socializing. I would tell myself to get caught up on everything that was now popular and what phrases were said. I would tell myself so don’t be disappointed if you think you sound stupid since you literally just came back from a year and a half in China, speaking mainly Chinese. Plus, you’re still learning about yourself. One of the more general things I would tell my grade 5 self would be to not be cringe when you’re in your Harry Potter stage. I would also tell myself to not be too hard on myself, and don’t make tall tales when you want to impress your classmates so they would stop laughing at you. I would want to say so much more, and even more to the different ages of myself, but this is what I have in mind right now.

However, if the time machine only works once (one round trip, there and back), then I would definitely either do everything I listed up there, or tell my grade 3 self not to read books in the dark (that’s how I first got my glasses, and even though they make me look great, they are a hassle). If I’m not allowed to go back that far though, I would tell my grade 6 self to stop watching your Ipad after lights are turned off, because it would lead to so many other occurrences of the same thing happening that it would singlehandedly drop my eyesight from -1’s and -2’s all the way to  -4’s. (I have stopped doing it, but I still regret doing it.