The future of the world is in my classroom today - Ivon Welton Fitzwater

Excuse Me While I Do Some Digital Sleuthing

We all do it. We meet someone and we might creep them on Facebook or Instagram to get to know a little more about them for the next meeting, you are at a new job and you search some coworkers so you can see what they are like from their social media, or you meet a guy and you need to figure out if he’s worth another date or not. We also judge people based on their lives on social media because it is always the happy pictures being posted, regardless if you are happy that day or not. While reading the article Split Image  about a young girl named Madison, it made me stop and realize just how many people post on social media one way, but have a completely different life on the other side of the screen. Reading Madison’s story was heartbreaking knowing that she went off of the happy pictures on social media of her friends and family and believed she was the only one struggling. “Madison was beautiful, talented, successful — very nearly the epitome of what every young girl is supposed to hope she becomes […] and someone who often struggled with what that image conveyed about her, with how people superficially read who she was, what her life was like.” Although Madison posted like she was happy, she was struggling on the inside and believed there was something wrong with her due to all the happy pictures of others away at college people were posting. “She and Ashley Montgomery, a friend and track teammate, followed a group of Penn upperclassmen on Instagram. They would scroll through pictures and say to each other, “This is what college is supposed to be like; this is what we want our life to be like.”

While reading that article mentioned about, it opened my eyes to how many people believe that what they see on social media is how the other person actually is in real life. They do not see the struggle or the hard days, just the happy, cheerful person enjoying life. That is why social media today is terrible, not only for young children, but also for adults 

            I was in a group of three. Myself, Julie Findura and Ashley Peterman. Julie sleuthed myself, Ashley sleuthed Julie and I sleuthed Ashely. While sleuthing Ashley, I knew she already had a twitter so I started there! I found out from her bio she’s a Can-Skate coach, Preschool teacher assistant and she was born May 2nd. From there I noticed she also had an edusites blog where I learned she is going into her 3rd year of education where she plans to graduate in December of 2022 and go on to teaching grade K – 2! I learned that she volunteers every Sunday at the Special Olympics Figure Skating Program and she competed in intense levels of figuring skating for many years! That’s awesome Ashley! I figure skated when I was younger and the only thing I remember is being dressed up as an astronaut skating around!

I moved on to Facebook next which I realized she had made so only her friends could see. I did manage to learn that judging from some pictures that she has a boyfriend, and that she has lived in Regina her entire life. I didn’t see any pictures of any siblings so I am not sure if she is an only child or has older or younger siblings. This is why I figured I’d try my luck at Instagram and thankfully it wasn’t on private. Although there were not many pictures and I still am not sure if she has siblings, I was still able to learn that she graduated in 2019, so that would mean she is 20 years old as she had her birthday last month, her and her boyfriend like taking trips together as it looks like they went to Lake Louise a few summers ago and that she has a close group of friends she is thankful for!

While sleuthing Ashley, I felt a little strange thinking of all the social media platforms she could possibly be on and searching her name. I can truly say I have never gone through someone’s social media to find, what I believe to be, such personal information, like their date of birth, school they went to, etc. on purpose. While looking into Ashley’s information, I believe she looks like someone I could trust as well as hire if I needed to. She looks like she would be a good friend if we had the chance as she comes off as an easy girl to get along with and a hard worker to reach her goals. 

To me, I believe Ashley shares just the right amount of information. Her Facebook seemed to be private other than to the people she is friends with which I understand and I am trying to get my Facebook to be like that too! On her blog, she doesn’t talk about her family and just talks about her achievements as well as posts a few pictures of herself. To me Ashley watches what she puts online as to not overshare too much about her personal life but she still likes to express herself. The advice I’d give Ashley is to keep doing the same thing you are doing as I feel you are on the right track.

To finish off my sleuthing, I watched this video about what one tweet can do to your life in a matter of hours. This made me realize how important it is to what we put online. That although we think no one is watching, someone is always watching and with a click of a button, your life can be in trouble! Justine Sacco didn’t believe she was doing any harm when she made a tweet, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” When she woke up in Africa, she was trending worldwide, but also lost her job. Although her tweet was not innocent, a simple tweet can go a long way when someone gets a hold of it. 

1 Comment

  1. Jana Ross

    Sarah, what a fun read! It was interesting to find out what you discovered about Ashley. It is actually scary knowing what we can discover about other people by sleuthing them online. I did not really enjoy the sleuthing, it made me feel like a creep!
    I also enjoyed the article about Madison (it was a hard read though because of the difficult circumstance; no family should have to endure that).
    Thanks for a great post!

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