Change, its inevitable…

Goodness, when you start to think about the information (footprints) you share and are leaving behind it all starts to get real!  Just a few hours ago I was laughing with one of my colleagues thanking the Lord that I didn’t grow up in the era of smartphones!  That the only trace of my 20’s exists in the memory of a select few with the odd photo stashed in a cupboard somewhere (definitely not online thank goodness!!) to look back on.
As much as I love the advancements and ease that the internet and smartphones bring to my life I am ever cautious of what I chose to share – what I wasn’t paying too much attention to was what others may be sharing of mine or tagging me in!

This week I started #Thing3 and #Thing4 as part of #23ThingsEdUni and one of the tasks was to google your name to get a sense of your own digital footprint – I can honestly say I have never googled myself and I don’t give too much thought to the fact that there are others out there who share the same name as me, so you can imagine my surprise when I googled my name for the first time I was met with the headline ‘Alcoholic Gail Mitchell jailed for kicking OAP in the head during booze theft’ from the West Yorkshire News 2011, it did make me draw breath I won’t lie!  It has also made me think quite hard about how I might want to identify myself digitally so as not to be confused with my namesake!!!

Like most people I use Facebook -when it first started it was a great way to keep in touch with my sister who lives down South letting me share pictures and updates with her without sending costly texts, now I use it out of pure nosiness – Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn but hadn’t given too much thought to the amount of information that I may be inadvertently sharing and who I may be sharing it with.

As an adult (not by choice I would like my age to show as 21 but my profile picture wouldn’t quite add up!) I am cautious and thoughtful about what I share (I am linked to my mum and dad and son on social media after all) but the younger generation could be easily caught out and disadvantaging themselves without even realising it – future employers are moving with the times too and are not adverse to checking out future employees on social media!

#Thing3 and #Thing4 focus on digital footprint and digital security and one of the real eye openers for me was my security settings, I thought I was all covered and clear on who could see what – how wrong was I!  A thorough clear up was long overdue – now I just need to keep on top of it.

Digital footprint can be a great thing, you can share what you choose to and others have an opportunity to find out more about you from afar (not in a creepy way!) but the fact remains, you have to be mindful and thoughtful about what and just how much you give of yourself – stay safe out there – its a minefield!

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