Realizing Just How Important Our Digital Identities Are!

June 7, 2021 1 By Gledi Toci

Technology whether we like it or not is becoming a huge part of our identity. Which explains why our digital identity is becoming more and more important as the years go on. The majority of people have a social media account which they are free to say, quote, post, and share anything they would like. This creates an online image of yourself and details about yourself as a person. This information is all gathered and can either be beneficial to your identity or negatively impact your image.

Due to the vast variety of social media and apps, people are capable of having different identities online. Many people tend to have different social media for different purposes or in some cases the same social media for different purposes. For example, the person I was cyber sleuthing, Mingyeong happened to have two different Instagram accounts. They were both moderately easy to find, but both very different. One was a public account following more people, and the other seemed a lot more personal and it was private. However, as we talked about in class nothing on the internet is truly private. The snaps we sent, private accounts and browsing is never truly private and can almost always be traced back to you.

When I tried to find out information about Mingyeong, it was not very difficult. I found all her social media very quickly, giving me information about her. I found out the music she likes, where she is from, family members, schooling, and many photos of her. This all part of her digital identity, something every person can view. Even though I found nothing bad about Mingyeong, I had easy acess to many things about her as a person. This was somewhat surprising, due to the short period of time it took to get this information.

In addition, views and shares are everything on the internet. Something you say or post can impact the rest of your life in little as minutes. In a TED Talk by John Ronson, “One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life”, he really about the power of social media, but the harm in it. He states how “voiceless people realized they had a voice”, but this voice can drastically affect their digital identity. As we mentioned in class and in the TED Talk about Justine who made a racist tweet and was soon fired from her job receiving lots of backlashes. That is the power of the internet, one can get famous but for the wrong thing.

In conclusion, the internet is a powerful yet scary tool. We as future teachers need to teach the importance of professional digital identity and safety. A comment or post can spread faster than ever on the internet therefore many people’s past might haunt them, even us as future teachers. Society and people change and we need to learn how to accept people’s past and have sympathy. The internet has a huge impact on us currently and for the future and we need to teach our students how to safely utilize it.