This week for EDTC 400 we were tasked with creeping on ourselves to discover what our social media accounts are saying about us. In EDTC 300, I made a similar blog post about cyber sleuthing my best friend Brianna Gelowitz. She also cyber sleuthed me for her assignment since we were in the same course over the summer.
The first thing that I did to cyber-sleuth on myself was open a private window in Firefox. I did this so I can get an accurate idea of what the public can see when they Google my name. I was not very surprised that when I did not add a location to my search that I was not the first person that showed up. The first thing that popped up on google was a LinkedIn profile for someone that has the same name as I do but lives in Edmonton.
Scrolling down a bit through the Google results, I was able to find the Facebook link to people with the same name as me. I was the second person on the list of people with my name. When I first looked at my account from the public’s view, I was slightly shocked to find out what information was shown to people when they check out my Facebook page and how much I needed to update it. I was slightly embarrassed by my “About Me” section on my Facebook page. I have not updated that part of my Facebook account since I was in high school, over two years ago. It stated I was a swimmer and it had too much of a playful, sarcastic tone that I do not think reflects who I am today. I quickly updated that after I took a screenshot of what was there before.
Other than my “About Me” page, my Facebook account is quite private. I keep most of my information and posts only public to those that are friends with me as this is my personal account. My old profile pictures show up on the side and everyone can see them, but if a person wants to see more of my pictures, they must sign into Facebook themselves
Along with trying to find my Facebook account, I also tried to find my Instagram and Snapchat account on the private window using Google. I was able to find some Instagram accounts with typing in my first and last name, but they were not my account. I was also unable to find my Snapchat account on Google even after Googling “Ashley Osachoff Snapchat”.
I prefer to keep my personal social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat private. Keeping these accounts private is sending out the message to the public that I like to share my information and pictures with people that I know. I think it sends out the message that I want to keep my personal life personal and I do not want to share every minute of my life with the entire world. I also think it could send across that I am a very private person, which some people may think negatively of, but I do not think it is necessary for the entire world to know every aspect of my personal digital life. I think I am also sending out the message that I like to keep my personal and professional life separate because it is difficult to find my personal social media accounts, but my professional social media accounts are quite easy to find.
The first image that is available when googling my name is a picture of myself and it is the one that I have on my blog and Twitter account, both professional social media account. My education blog and my Twitter account are both fairly easy to find when I am searching for myself on the internet. A person can find both of these accounts from simply typing in my name and they will be on the first and second page of Google when I do not add in a location. When I add in “Regina” to my Google search, my blog and Twitter account are on the first page near the top.
My Twitter account is a professional account that I created last year in EDTC 300. I was not very active on it during the fall semester, so it is not as high up on the Google search as I would like it. This semester I need to be more active on Twitter to get my professional voice out there. My Twitter account states what program I am in, as well as my major and minor. I typically tweet about educational topics or technology related topics on my Twitter account as I use it solely for professional purposes and a way to keep in touch with fellow educators.
This blog is used for professional purposes as well. I use it as my e-portfolio as well as a place to keep my course work that requires blogging. This blogs serves to be a great area to hold all of my teaching and education related topics. I have areas to keep resources including lesson plans and other teaching resources and areas for people to learn more about me. This blog is a place for parents, educators, and anyone else to find out who I am.
Creating professional social media accounts that are open to the public is important to me. Since I am so private on my personal social media, I think it is important that future employers, parents, and anyone that wants to find out more about me can through my public, professional social media accounts. Having a digital identity and a presence online is almost necessary and unavoidable for people nowadays. It can seem suspicious to some if everything that I post is completely private. I think it is important that I have accounts that accurately represent who I am professionally and personally.
I think as a teacher, social media and digital identity are highly debated topics. Teachers are humans just like everyone else and they should be allowed to have social media, but due to the nature of education and working with young people, it is important teachers understand that they are professionals regardless if they are in the classroom or online. It can often seem that teachers are living a double life with some of their social media staying private, while others are public, but I think this can be the solution for teachers to have a digital identity as a teacher safely. It may seem that teachers are trying to hide part of their lives from their students, parents or employers, but I do not see it in that sense. Regardless of the privacy settings, teachers must be professionals online and model the behaviour they would like to see from students.
I do not have anything to hide on my personal social media accounts and would be willing to show them to a future employer, but I do not want it to be public to the world. I personally do not want my future students sending me Facebook friend requests or Instagram following requests. I do not think that is an appropriate relationship to have with students and that is why I keep my personal accounts private to the majority of the public.
Overall, I am quite happy with my findings about my digital identity. People are able to find both my personal and professional social media accounts. I like that people are only able to see what I want them to see, unless I accept them as a friends or follower. Going forward with my digital identity, I want to ensure that I keep my social media accounts updated, so then I do not have a similar shock like I did with my Facebook account. I would also like to keep posting and updating my professional social media accounts so they are one of the first things that pop up when people Google my name. I would like to be more active on my Twitter account and share more educational resources with my fellow educators.
Thanks for reading my blog post! I hope this gives you some inspiration to discover your own personal digital identity. If you have researched your own digital identity before was there anything that shocked you?