Someone that I do not know but recently know a lot more about!
In the last two EDTC 300 classes, we have focused on digital identity and citizenship. In this week’s prompt post, we were told to go snooping into someone in the class to see what we could find on them. The purpose of this is to get an idea of what their digital identity reveals about them. It is much like if your friend or family member starts dating someone and you want to know as much as you can about the person. I felt like a cop, however, it was very exciting for me to dig up information. My husband got a kick out of the verbal excitement shown for a school assignment.
I had my peer, Tina Bowley, and her digital identity reveals that she is married, loves the roughriders (like everyone else in Saskatchewan, except me), likes unicorns, has been working in her teaching career for 16+ years, has lived in Regina and Balgonie, and is very well educated and uses her work-provided Professional Development to get certified in a variety of areas that improves her skills as a teacher and Vice Principal.
Overall, the experience was enlightening because it is so important to have your digital identity match your actual identity. This can be important for teachers because employers may complete the same type of activity to look more into you. This is also beneficial to promote safe usage of the internet and can be used as a model for your students. Your students parents can also look into you via the internet and you want to ensure that you are perceiving yourself in the same way you would if you were in front of your students, parents, and staff.
In Jon Ronson’s Ted Talk: How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life, he talks about public shaming. The lady he speaks about tweeted something extremely racist and others started attacking her for this, however, she also lost her job. This is directly related to her digital identity. This is important to think about because everything you put on the internet, can be found in some way. No matter who it is who finds it, it will be found. Although she didn’t intend for it to be racist, thousands of people around the world made it their mission to get her fired and started saying awful things about her all over Twitter.
Although this is an extreme example of utilizing privilege to post something inappropriate, there is a lesson here: we do have the privilege of having our voices heard in a variety of mediums (including the internet), however, the way that you use this privilege is so important. These lessons need to be included in all digital citizenship units in the classroom. How one uses the internet can be very detrimental to one’s future and that the way you perceive yourself online should be as close to your actual identity so that others know who you are.
I also read the article, Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. Nicole Lee talks about how her husband was going through her Instagram feed. She spoke about how she was embarrassed she was about how many selfies there were of her and that she did not want to come off as “self-centred” or “narcissistic”. However, she went on and said that she uses her social media platforms in different ways. On Instagram, she is sharing with her followers that know her through the internet; On Facebook, she socialized with her friends and family; and, on Twitter, she uses it to ramble thoughts mostly. She speaks about how she has FIVE different Twitter accounts and two Instagram accounts. She concluded by saying, “different accounts, different audience, different purposes.” I do believe that having this many accounts can make it difficult to have the same digital identity on all of them.
“Different accounts, different audience, different purposes.”— Nicole Lee
Overall, I am not sure I agree with the multiple accounts on one social media platform, however, I do understand that having a variety of social media accounts and that they can target different groups of people. For myself, my digital identity is raw and I do overshare but I do that on all of the platforms I use. I just ensure that I am not perceiving myself in a way that is not “me.” The lesson here to share with students is that, although it is common for people to have multiple accounts on one social media platform, it is SO important for them to keep their digital identity the same. This conversation could continue into sexual predators online and how they use fake accounts to alter their digital identities to gain access to personal information about vulnerable populations.
This week was a bit eye-opening but I am grateful for such an assignment and will likely use the same type of assignment in my future classrooms.