Who Am I Online?

Digital Identity is such a prevalent aspect of who we are in today’s society, and it is incredibly important that we convey this to our students. Being knowledgeable about digital identity can protect an individual in numerous different ways.

To put it simply, digital identity is how you portray yourself online. It is made up of photos, videos, articles, texts, emails, posts, or whatever people are able to find about you. It is necessary to acknowledge and realize that everything an individual posts online contributes to their digital identity.

An equally important aspect of digital identity is recognizing the digital identity of others. It is easy to get caught up in the internet and compare yourself to others. People tend to post their best self on social media, and so that is what you see. You do not see their bad days or insecurities unless they decide to show them, so really you are consistently comparing your worst to their best. 

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel

Steven Furtick

I personally have struggled with comparing myself to others, and it has caused some major issues in my life. I know that it has caused issues for many of my friends as well. In fact, I connected with Madison Holleran’s story a bit too closely. Between my own personal struggles and the struggles of my friend who took her own life, I see many similarities to Madison’s story. We need to recognize that people are more than their online identity. Even if they appear to have it all, we need to check on them. And if they do appear to have it all, then we shouldn’t let that damage us.

Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk was incredibly interesting to listen to. To be honest, I am not very familiar with her story, but listening to her speak made me empathize with her. Her message to “click compassionately” really resonated with me. It is so easy to get caught up in tabloids and rumours that do not involve us, but we need to recognize that these people are still human beings. I think this video would be great for older classrooms. 

Additionally, the article “Having Multiple Online Identities is More Normal Than You Think” was honestly quite reassuring for me! I personally have multiple Instagram accounts: My “main” account or my highlight reel if you will (though I try to be authentic and vulnerable), my “finsta” for my close friends where I post photos covered in acne and my hair unbrushed, my account for my photography business, and my account for my non-profit! I need to realize that most times, I am not seeing people’s “finstas” and am only seeing their most put together self. 

This week for #edtc300 we had to cybersleuth a classmate. The point of this activity is to realize how much we can gather about a person from their online identity. There may be personal information available to others that we may not want shared, and so we need to be careful and aware of  that. It also demonstrates that what you post can come back to haunt you, as it is findable and never really goes away.

The classmate I cybersleuthed was easy to find! The first things to appear on my google search were her e-portfiolio and her Twitter feed. Right off the bat, I see her professional spaces which leaves a good first impression. I also found an old instagram account that seems to only have some silly photos and old selfies. Nothing harmful, just a tad funny! Her current Instagram account is private, but I was able to see some of her photos on vsco which seemed to mostly be selfies. All in all, I don’t think that this classmate is an undersharer or oversharer. I was able to see some details that she is comfortable with people seeing, and that is awesome! It seems like she has good control of her digital identity.

After doing a few google searches on myself, I would say that I am happy with my digital identity. I definitely wish I would have been more aware of my digital identity in elementary school, but I can use that to teach my future students.

Thanks for reading!

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