Week 2 Reflection
Understanding Our “Digital Footprint”
I had a bit of a hard time deciding what to talk about this week, but now I understand more fully what we are dealing with. For this second week, we took a close look at digital citizenship through the eye of the “digital footprint” that all of us leave behind. It really scared me at first, but I think I have become more comfortable with mine now. At the beginning of this week, I followed the assignment directions and took a good look at my personal digital footprint that I have started to leave behind. To my amazement, I was surprised by what I found. My online “digital footprint” was very good. I found blog posts on Google Plus that I did for a previous course in this degree. I also came across my Facebook and Twitter pages that I tend to post on. Unfortunately, I also came across criminal records for someone else named “Drew Bergeron” that lived in Florida. It looked like the criminal charges were for theft of goods and a few other things.
While I cannot change the outcome of the other guy’s criminal charges, I learned a lesson from this that I commented on in my discussion board. The key lesson is to “never take anything at face value online.” You can search for someone’s “digital footprint,” but you have to be aware that things are not always as they seem. I, for one, have come to the conclusion that people post too many things online that they do not want other people to see. Family members can do searches, and employers now search for the profiles of prospective employees that may work in their organization. I strongly believe that privacy laws may have to be updated in the future to prevent someone from being blackballed based on what was posted online at a previous time or by somebody else.
According to Rosen, the “iGeneration,” born in the 1990s, are generally characterized by their use of technology, love of electronic communication, and their devotion to multitasking (Rosen 2011). I fit this mold perfectly since I was born in 1990. I can still remember when my family got our first internet connection, and when a phone call required using a land line and taking turns. I wonder if future generations to come will ever get to experience those things. As a child, I also used to love to look at maps and even had a collection of them. Now, it seems, as though, these artifacts of life are now becoming obsolete. Even though I love technology, I still believe that there is something so special and simple about reading a magazine or book and not looking at a screen to do it. So, I will try to read magazines and books more often in the future. We should all click “like” to that!
Even though I plan to have children in the future, I wonder what technological world they will live in. Will computers be in the human mind? Will computers try to kill human civilization? Will professions become obsolete? I know these questions may seem like science fiction, but some computer scientists are beginning to wonder how things will be when computers play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives. If these predictions are true, then our “digital footprint” may get to be an even bigger part of our lives in the future. They key for all of us is to live outside the “filter bubble” and see the world around us. Maybe the time has come for us to “unplug” our technology for a small amount of time everyday. In any case, though, it is likely true that technology will continue to grow in the years to come.
Since students can use the internet as a learning resource, we must all ensure that it remains as an open resource “neutral and free” to all. To ensure this, we must continue to evaluate the importance of “net neutrality” in our schools and communities to ensure that the world wide web stays true to the founders that created it. In closing, I took the time to do a search this week for my “digital footprint” and I was overall glad and excited to see some of the things I did. After looking past the other guy’s criminal records, my “digital tattoo” is something I am very proud of. We should all take the time to evaluate our “digital footprints/tattoos” and see how we really seem online. A good “digital footprint” is something that we should all leave behind!
Below this reflection, I have included a list of resources that might be of use to anyone that wants to learn about our “digital footprint.”
Resources for Understanding Our “Digital Footprint”
- Your Digital Footprint Matters
- What’s Your Digital Footprint
- Net Neutrality & Schools’ Needs
- Net Neutrality – A Victory for Education
- Why Net Neutrality Matters to Education
- Net Neutrality – What Happened?
Rosen, L. D. (2011). Teaching the iGeneration. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://www.steveclarkprincipal.com/uploads/1/6/5/2/16527520/teaching_the_igeneration.pdf