Over the last month or so since I have began posting on my blog again, I have been thinking about my digital identity. What is a digital identity? There is an awesome blog post called Digital Identities and Digital Security that describes digital identity simply – it is who we are online. This begs the questions:
Can we be the same person online and in the “real” world?
The online world allows us to control how we want to be perceived by others and by the public. This basically allows us to portray certain aspects of ourselves, while maybe “hiding” other things we don’t want others to know. This makes me ask another question of myself:
What and how do we choose what we want others to see about ourselves?
I was asked to read an article this week on how the resume is slowly fading out, and how creating digital portfolios and digital footprints are beginning to become more prevalent. There was a quote in there that relates to my last question – “social media gives [us] a chance to show “what you want the world to know about you.””
So again I ask, what do I want the world to know about me? What is important to me? Some of the things I have decided that are the most important about me follows:
– I am a Christian – this is my identity, in every area of my life
– I love travel – there is nothing better to me than exploring new places, meeting new people and learning about myself
– I love children – all children, whether in my future classroom or otherwise, they have such a genuine love for life and a hunger to learn
– I love my family – my family lives on an acreage outside of Melfort, SK; they are the most incredible people and I am thankful for all the opportunities they have provided for me
These are only some of the more general things that I think are an important part of my digital identity. These are the things that shape my choices and the kinds of things I share and am passionate about.
Another article called Teachers, Take Care of Your Digital Footprint makes an honest and real statement, “If you aren’t controlling who you are online, someone else will.” I don’t want anyone else creating my digital identity. It’s my identity to create. I intend to make it an honest identity. I’d like to believe that it’s possible to be transparent online in a positive way and give others a window into what makes you tick, what you’re passionate about, and who are you are.
That is not to say that anyone, especially those in professional careers that deal with the public, such as teaching, should post every detail about themselves online. There is such a thing as oversharing and being insensitive and careless in posting online. I aim to avoid that and to think before I post. I am not really a writer, and I pride myself in thinking before I speak. So blogging I find that I combine the two. I take my time in my writing. Thinking before I post I guess you could say. In the last article I mentioned, they break down managing your digital identity into 4 easy steps:
– Google yourself (here’s what what happened when I googled myself – I also had to add “Regina” at the end as my name is rather common)
My “about me” page and my twitter handle came up – good news! Since there are a ton of Ashley Arndt’s on facebook my profile did not come up. The only thing missing now is by blog. But overall, I’m pleased with it at the moment.
– Establish a brand
– Get a space of your own
– Stay on top of things
After all my ramblings, I’d like to ask the question in the title of this post again: is there such a thing as an honest digital identity? I’d love to hear your thoughts!