As a professional presenter for a government agency I must be extremely careful about my digital footprint or digital tattoo (Sullivan, 2013) as it is my reputation that is on the line. What surprises me is that I could be standing in front of a group of professional trainers who work in the VET sector and I ask what they are doing about digital literacy I get the blank looks.
In almost a whisper I will then ask “How many of you have actually ‘Googled’ yourself to see your digital trail?” The scary part is that most of these educated people have never even considered searching themselves on the internet (Rheingold, 2010).
I guess I could be seen as being in the ‘Worried by the Wayside’ group (Madden, Fox, Smith and Vitak, 2007) mainly as my job as an elearning presenter I must be across a wide variety of technologies. Which means that this increases the potential for issues in the future with my digital footprint.
I am admitting now that whenever I go to post or respond to something I freely self-censor. The internal dialogue that I have will often cause me to stop and reflect. I will ask myself what prospective employers will think, will this reflect badly on my current workplace and will this impact on my family. If I can see I am in the clear then I will post.
Now let me be brutally honest and say not always have my colleagues put any filter to use. As I write and rewrite this blog post I again pause and reflect on what I am writing, I just can’t help it. Let me ask if you look back on your life (and if you are of a certain age and over) how many of you might have made a telephone call and left messages on an answering machine, then tried to get the tape before the person heard the message? Well imagine that but the tapes never going away, can never be erased and you have the digital tattoo that sticks forever.
I remember at a place a I worked a colleague sent out a site wide email with an embedded joke image which was not appropriate for the workplace. Immediately the colleague recalled the email. However, the recall of Outlook does not necessarily recall the actual email from people it just sends everyone on the sender list a notification that the email has been recalled. What that recall email triggered was a point where everyone at the work site clicked on the email and were horrified en mass.
Access to many media empowers only those who know how to use them (Rheingold, 2010). This truism is important for everyone. Think about it now days if a student or peer makes a gaff it follows as a constant reminder. Being a good digital citizen will not absolve you from your folly, however, it will make you stop and think a little before hitting the post or send button, and that has to be a good thing.
Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 24-25.
Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and other 21st century social media literacies. Educause Review 45(5). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/attention-and-other-21st-century-social-media-literacies
Ribble, M. (2016). Nine Elements. digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 5 March 2016, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/
Sullivan, A. (2013). Digital tattoo: Helping students build their digital image [Slideshow]. Retreived from http://www.slideshare.net/adinasullivan/iste-2013-d-igital-tattoo-061613-w-o-movie-24148830
Venspired. Digital Citizenship: It’s More Than a Poster! [Poster]. Retrieved 18 March 2016, from http://venspired.com/giving-back-day-6-all-about-digital-citizenship/