Digital Identity Mapping Assignment

One thing I have never taken the time to do was look up how I present myself online. I have always been conscious of it when deciding what to post and share. Once I googled myself and took the time to dive deep into my many social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn; I learned a lot. From my eyes, I firmly believe I have kept my image very clean on the internet. After scrolling through many of my own posts on Facebook and Twitter, I learned I act differently on the two different platforms. On Facebook, much of my audience consists of family, coworkers, and many individuals I hold a high respect for. With this, I find myself restraining from sharing anything that has to do with my ‘dark’/quirky sense of humor. I tend to keep it very professional on Facebook, mainly sharing my accomplishments or what I’m up to at school to keep my family members informed. I feel as if much of my generation has determined Facebook as a more ‘official’ platform and I see similarities in the way we act on the different platforms. Twitter for me seems to be the social media I use to connect with people more my age. My audience on Twitter consists of friends from high school and college, and many more people around my age. Twitter is where I tend to share my sense of humor more often, mention the fun times I have at college and get into arguments here and there about various topics. I feel as if nothing surprised me after analyzing my presence on the internet. As previously mentioned, I have made it a priority to ensure my image on the internet stays clean and somewhat professional. Throughout my younger years when internet was becoming more prevalent and social media began to boom, adults made it a point to tell us to watch what we post/share on social media. The obvious reason is because employers are able to look up your accounts and search for any posts they may not be fond of. I took this seriously and made sure my online identity was much like how I am offline. I see no reason to act different on the internet than you would in person. My parents raised me with respect being a key aspect of my character so I knew keeping my identity the same in both online and offline would be an easy task. When my time comes to enter the workforce and find a job, I won’t be at all worried of my social media becoming a problem. Coming into this assignment, I knew about digital media and that nothing ever fully deletes itself but I finally saw it for my own eyes. After googling myself, I saw many old profiles on social media and other sites. I saw old prospect profiles on baseball scouting websites, and I also saw other random websites where my name was mentioned. I did learn that regardless if you post it or not, if your name is mentioned then it will show up in a search. This relates to being careful what pictures your peers post of you on social media. Whether you are tagged or not, if somebody wants to find it on the internet they can find it. I also found many examples of my actions in real life being recorded on the internet, then being found in a Google search because my name was mentioned. My online identity is surprisingly very multimodal. On top of posting statuses on social media, I also share a variety of videos and articles from different news sources. I wrote articles about Kentucky men’s basketball for College Pride Press and I did not think of those before I googled myself. My digital identity is surprisingly more multimodal than I thought. Written language obviously dominates with countless posts, and articles that my name is connected to. On top of that, there are scouting videos, video projects I have created and posts I shared include a lot of videos. My social media platforms are loaded with pictures that I have posted or have been tagged in, also on top of the many things I have shared. Considering I am active on platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube, that also means my digital identity includes a lot of music. Every mode of media has an impact on the public’s perception of your digital identity. Whether you write controversial articles, listen to questionable music or post obscene pictures; it can all be found by someone that wants to find it. When I think about my digital identity for the future, I tend to not have many concerns. As previously mentioned, my image on the internet has been kept clean and one that’s attractive to possible employers or another individual that would be particularly interested in my digital identity. The one fear I do have was I wasn’t very conscious of my digital identity when I was in middle school, and from seeing old Facebook statuses I can tell I was an open book when it came to sharing information. Just from my quick glance over my social media platforms, and other websites where I was mentioned I didn’t find any red flags pertaining to my reputation. My only fear is missing a controversial status or post that I put on the internet and it coming back to hurt me. Regardless if you posted something in 2011, it will forever be on the internet even if you think its deleted. All in all, this was an interesting and much needed exercise to do because it opened my eyes as to what I share on social media. Unless one thinks about it, not many people check up to see how they are represented on the internet. This allows me to clean up any questionable content that is linked to my name and help me realize what to expect from a future employer if I am ever questioned. 

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