My initial reaction after creeping myself online was: “Man, I am boring to follow on social media”. I was not surprised about what I could or could not find about myself online. Instead, I actually bored myself because I literally am not active on my social media pages at all. But before we get into what I found on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on, let’s start at the beginning of this.
I started by reviewing the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation document STF’s tips for professionalism in a digital world. As I went through the top 10 tips, I was able to say that I already met the tips. I like to keep my life private and away from others, mostly because I don’t want everyone knowing my every single move (I find it kind of creepy). I also do not want someone I do not know being able to look at my profiles on various social media platforms because again, it’s creepy to me. I like knowing who I follow and who follows me on social media so I keep all my accounts on maximum privacy (but do not worry, if I know you, I will definitely add you).
When it comes to posting on social media, I honestly don’t. If I do post on social media, it’s because it’s either a) a really nice photo or b) I haven’t posted for a while so I might as well make a presence. My motto for posting online is “if my Mom sees this, will she be disappointed in me?”, and it’s a really good motto to remember when posting on social media. But I should start writing about what I found when I looked at my social media.
Let’s start with the classic search of typing your name into Google to see what comes up. When I Googled “Jayden Lang”, what showed up was Facebook profiles but when I clicked it, guess what? My profile didn’t even show up. What did show up was multiple YouTube Channels, Track and Field Records, Chess scores, cross country profiles and so many more results that were not me. Interestingly, my Twitter account I use for education and my blog appeared, but I do not have privacy settings set on those two accounts because I want people to see my growth and development as a teacher. It also makes interacting with other professionals so much easier because there are no privacy restrictions.
After I searched my name, I added the name of my hometown to my name. The results were me, not someone else. Appearing in this blog, my Twitter I use for education, newspaper articles discussing scholarships and my results from when was speed swimming, and my grandfather’s obituary. For images showing up for the result of “Jayden Lang Melville”, there are pictures of me. My Twitter profile picture shows up, pictures of my swim team and I, and my grandfather. These pictures are available to the public because they are from a public Twitter account and from newspapers which I have no control over if I appeared in the picture.
I think it’s time I dive into those private accounts of mine to show everyone what is posted (warning: it’s not exciting)
I made a Facebook account much later in life compared to my friends. As a matter of fact, I was in Grade 11 to be exact, and the only reason I made an account was for group chats with my volleyball teams. As shown above, I do not have a biography written, and my profile picture is of my brother and I. As I scrolled through my Facebook I realized I have never actually written a post. What will be seen on my Facebook is grad photos, volleyball photos, birthday wishes, and a couple of shared videos that I couldn’t help but share. I believe the highlight of my Facebook is my grad photos, which was two years ago.
When I looked at pictures I posted on Instagram, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. The photos are selfies, of awards, of my family and of volleyball. I don’t post often as the last photo I posted was in November and that was only because I was so proud of my brother medalling at provincials for the second year in the row, I wanted everyone to know. I also reviewed photos that I was tagged in. Those photos are very similar to the ones I posted. Again, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. But one can view my bio on Instagram which is my Snapchat username.
On my VSCO are pictures I have taken in which I would like to share or photos of my friends and me. My photos are once again, okay for anyone to see. On the other hand, my collection on VSCO features quotes about what country song I want to dance in a kitchen with my best friend, or country songs for any occasion, or about relationships. In a way, I wouldn’t want my students to see this but my VSCO is impossible to find and honestly, it holds nothing bad just my basic goals for what I want in a relationship and life and such. I’m thinking I should go through my VSCO collection very carefully and think carefully about the message the collection is portraying.
Okay, I have two Twitter accounts. One is for education and this is the one that is public. This is a professional account where I post resources, ideas and anything else related to education. I check this Twitter a lot as it is on my MacBook and iPad. My other account is to see what my friends are tweeting but I have never posted anything on this Twitter account. I mainly use this account to read Tweets by Regina Police to see about accidents that may affect my route to the university, SaskPower to know about power outages and Highway Hotline to know if roads are good if I am planning to go home for the weekend. This account is on my phone and is private.
Honestly, my Pinterest account would show others what food I like (chocolate anything), what I want my house to look like, quotes (way too many), wedding ideas (I’m not even sure why this exists but it does), photography ideas and teaching ideas. Again, not very exciting.
What did I learn from stalking myself?
I learnt my digital identity is hidden from the public for the most part with the exception of my Twitter I use for education and my blog. If people were to see my other social media accounts, they would see only pictures of me and get a general idea of what I look like and a little bit about my interests. As an educator, it shows I respect others as I am not shaming anyone, I respect my body and appearance, and I care about education (you would notice this by the number of Tweets I’ve been doing since the beginning of class. I just love seeing new ideas and learning about the art of teaching).
The message I send on social media, that is a tough question. Mainly because I never thought about it. It may be because I am not very active on social media, but I honestly do not know. On my education Twitter account, the message is simple though. I want to show parents/employers/other teachers that I care about my job and I am passionate about it. I am willing to learn more about teaching because I believe a teacher learns just as much as the students, maybe even more.
For the most part, my digital identity is hard to find. Majority of my accounts are private and I couldn’t find any of them and I tried everything. Comments, pictures, and anything else you can think of, all set to private, so you have to friend or follow me to see what is posted. If someone found any of these accounts, I’m okay with it, there is nothing I wouldn’t want anyone to see because of my motto stated earlier.
Areas I would like to work on with respect to my digital identity and steps I will take:
- Letting people get a sense of who I am, aside from a future teacher
- I should include my personality into my social media more often as personal identity is important
- Tweet a photo of my dog, post a selfie of my family and I hanging out on a Saturday, make a category on my blog with photos I have taken
- Being more confident
- If I appear more confident in my Tweets, my profile pictures (a picture where it shows I’m happy and not trying to get the perfect angle and trying too hard to look like a model) and so on, students may feel confident in their teacher because that is how their teacher presents themselves.
- There are probably more areas I could work on, but I can’t think of any but I am certain I will learn more as I continue my education on my way to being a teacher!