Recently I wrote a post about my resignation from teaching. I will admit that it was a play on words with the title to “trick” people into reading my blog. A bit shameful I know, but the ploy seemed to work as a few thousand people took the time to read it and many commented. This has caused me to reflect a bit on what I write and how I present myself in the digital sense. Many people talk about your digital footprint which is not something I have honestly thought about in recent years. However, given the recent hype over my post I have started thinking about it.
For me I am a product of the Google age and I go there first. So, that is what I did. I went to Google and typed in my name. The nice thing about my name is there are not a whole lot of us out there so when stuff comes up it usually relates to me. I started actively writing on my blog and using Twitter for about four months. Prior to this when I popped my name into Google all I would get back would be track meet results from my collegiate career as a triple jumper. Now, I get tweets, blog posts, mentions on other peoples blogs and numerous other social media references that initially astounded me.
I was talking to my principal recently about the number of views on my Letter of Resignation and she asked me if it would change how I wrote as a result of the increased attention and “followers”. It was a great question because when you hit that “post” button you never know how it will be received or who will be reading it. You know it is out there but if you are like me you think that maybe a handful of people like you boss and grandma might actually read it.
Back to this idea of a digital footprint, it is a very real thing and should be taken seriously. Will I change how or what I blog about? No, I will not. However, will I be mindful of how I present myself so that my readers get an accurate portrayal of me? Yes, I will. I will be mindful that people will read and what they do read I want it to be something that reflects me and would be something I would be proud of.
With that being said it also brings up an interesting point for students. In most schools, including my own we do not allow students to post videos, pictures, or other work with their names attached. While I am all for security of minors and the safety of our students I do have a question. When I Google my sons' names what would I want to find? Would I be proud to see the pasta and paint project he made in Preschool? Do I want a picture of him proudly wearing the super friend cape at school? I am not sure if I know the answer to those questions but it certainly has me thinking.