Cybersleuthing & Digital Identity

June 7, 2021 1 By elb776

Cybersleuthing, how fun! Looking someone up and seeing what I can find out about them! Honestly, looking at my partner was kind of creepy. Not because there was anything bad that I found but because I felt like I was being a creep.  The first thing I did was a search on google, I simply just typed in her first and last name and see what came up, there wasn’t much other than two photos of her Twitter and Pinterest board linked. I followed her twitter link to see what else I could find, turns out it is quite old and some of the photos and memes she posted also showed up in the google search. Next, I followed her Pinterest link which led me to many boards about a variety of things but nothing that was worth looking further into. So for the google search, all I found was a Pinterest page with not much information with it and her 2014 twitter page. My next social media to search was Instagram! 

For Instagram I searched her name and turns out there are a bunch of the same names in the world. I found one that seemed like it could be the person I was looking for. I thought it was her by her bio and profile picture, her bio related to what I think are video games, which I knew that she was interested in by her Pinterest boards and Twitter account. Her profile picture was I think an anime character which I also know she is interested in again by her Pinterest and Twitter pages. Unfortunately, her Instagram page was private so that ended the search there. Next on the list is Facebook!

I hit the jackpot with Facebook. Her profile picture is the same as Instagram’s so I’m fairly certain that the Instagram page I came across was the correct person. There wasn’t too much about her on Facebook. She has some selfies posted as profile pictures but other than that it was pretty dry. She had no information that could be seen, there were no workplaces, schools, places or anything that was visible. From looking at this persons social media, I still don’t know much about her which is a good thing!  

In an amazing article by ESPN , it talks about how in today’s social media, everything is filtered and makes peoples expectations much higher for themselves which in turn plays a major role on people’s confidence, self-esteem, and mental health in general. I know for myself, I have to be careful what I see and who I follow on social media as seeing perfect photos of everyone plays a role on my health. I get so wrapped up with the thought of being perfect, but in reality no one is perfect and it’s important to understand that. 

When I read the article “Having Multiple Online Identities Is More Normal Than You Think”  I was shocked, but also not at the same time. I have two Instagram accounts, a personal account and one for my eyelash business. Actually, I guess not, when I was young and still figuring out the social media game, I made probably like 10 Instagram accounts. Only because I didn’t have a phone so I had to use my moms and always forgot my passwords. Lots of people my age has what’s called “spam” accounts where they post things for only their friends to see. I actually don’t have one because I just don’t want to have another account to look after. 

While I was watching Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk , it hurt me inside that people who know absolutely nothing about someone’s situation still has the audacity to comment hurtful things. I have had someone do this to me actually. On my Instagram account, I always had one person commenting really hurtful things on my posts, talking about how “I need to fill in my eyebrows”, commenting about me and my ex-boyfriend and a lot of other hurtful things. This person had no posts, no one that I knew was following her, and she had very little followers, which makes me think that it was someone that I knew that simply made an account just to be mean and hurt people. Now I know this is very small compared to Monica’s story, however I guess what I’m trying to say is that being mean on the internet actually sticks with a person and had detrimental impacts on someone. As my parents always say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” 

“Facebook: Self-constructed digital identity and academic performance” by iLifeinicity is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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