I came across a video last semester about the impact of a person’s “digital/ online footprint” and how it can affect the way you are perceived by other (including potential employers). Since seeing that video, I’ve started teaching part-time at my local TAFE (Technical & Further Education) campus. One of my classes is a group of Year 11 students who I am teaching “workplace communication” to, along with another teacher. We were discussing email etiquette today in class, and I briefly mentioned the idea of your “digital footprint”. I suspect that our students have very little understanding of the implications of their online activity. The discussion started me thinking, and I decided I would look up the video again to be prepared to use it with these students. As it happened, I found several other videos about the impact of digital footprints. I’ll have to mark them in the del.ici.ous page I want to set up soon (when I get around to it).
I was explaining to my husband why I was watching YoutTube videos while he was trying to concentrate on a document he had to write (“Honestly honey, it’s for work!”) On a whim, I wondered how large my digital footprint has become.
I got a shock.
The last time I “googled” myself was probably over a year ago. Then I think I appeared 2 or 3 times, all of which I think were associated with the website for the school I had been teaching at in Townsville.
Tonight I found nearly 30 hits, including links to my LinkedIn page (which I haven’t even looked at for a couple of years), Facebook, some book reviews I’ve written for a publisher, some links in the blogs of some of my writer friends, my personal blog, THIS blog, my name on a couple of petitions and finally my current job at TAFE.
That’s a ten fold increase in about a 12 month period. Luckily, I’m pretty careful about what I write online.
So how large is your digital footprint? You might be surprised. Or shocked.