How much of your life do you think is public knowledge? It is probably more than you realize. This week I participated in a cyber sleuthing activity. One of my classmates and I partnered up and googled and researched each other. The goal was to discover as much as we could about the other person through online sources. This was a really interesting experience, and I learned a lot about my fellow classmates.
This exercise helped us discover what our online identity reveals about ourselves. Some of the information about us comes from us. It is information that stems from our involvement online, our online profiles, and our social media. Other information about ourselves can be found by what others post about us. I also googled myself and a lot of the information I see is articles in the newspaper about my involvement in sports, interviews I’ve had for a variety of things, and information from other people who know me. I also see how I portray myself online as well. It is important to understand that our online identity is not made up of only what you put out there, but what others put out there about you.
This quote from the article “Split Image” shows exactly what I mean. We try to present ourselves as the best parts of our life. We do not usually see the ugly or hard parts of our life. We show our ideal selves. We want people to see the best parts about ourselves, and that is exactly what we put online.
Our digital identity shows a lot about ourselves. It shows how we portray ourselves, but it also has stuff that we did not post, but others did. I suggest this cyber sleuthing exercise to help students and yourself understand what your digital identity says about you. I do not think we realize how much of our lives is online, and this exercise is a great way to learn about your online identity.