During the last few weeks in my EDTC300 class we have been focusing on the topic of digital identity. There’s many different ways one can explain digital identity. One I think reflects it best though is “Your digital identity is a permanent collection of data about you that is online” (BinaryTattoo). Digital identity can be contradictive to ones True identity. The definition of identity being “The distinguishing character or personality of an individual” (Merriam-Webster). In other words, the way many people live their lives offline is different to the way they portray their lives online.
A sad example of the false or seemingly different identities one can have online is Madison Holleran. In the article “Split Image” by Kate Fagan I learned Madison was a young, pretty girl who ran track at Pennsylvania University. Her digital identity displayed a very positive, happy person. She had many pictures of her smiling and laughing with friends and enjoying time with family on her Instagram. Her online persona, unfortunately was not an accurate display of her life as on January 17th, 2014 she committed suicide.
The above example is an extreme, but not an uncommon theme of the differing identities one can have online vs. their real life identity. The article “Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think” by Nicole Lee (Twitter: @nicole) goes beyond just having one identity online into several identities or personas. She mentions the idea of a “finstagram”: a fake Instagram separate from your real, and tailored to perfection real Instagram to take the pressure off having a perfect feed to present to the world as “you”. Nicole did a poll on her twitter regarding how many of her follower’s had more than one twitter account , and to my surprise the results were fairly even.
I was curious to see what the results of this same type of poll would be among my own age demographic and peers. I tweeted out my own poll, via my twitter account(@GlascockKennedy). My results yielded an even greater number of multiple accounts among the same platform, not surprising due to our digital obsessed generation.
I asked the voters to respond with their reasoning for having more than one of the same social media platforms, there was defiantly a trend in their responses. All the voters that responded mentioned having a professional account, besides having a personal account. Defiantly understandable in this day and age, when a google search of someone’s name goes hand in hand with a resume when applying for jobs. There was also some accounts used for different interests, such as pets!
To go along with our discussion on digital identity this week in EDTC300 we got a fun assignment to Cyber Sleuth (creep) our classmates! Me and Justine Garret partnered up for this. This happens to be a speciality of most of me and Justine’s generation so I’m excited to see what she can dig up!
I started cyber sleuthing Justine the same way any rational millennial would, A Facebook search. It took me a loooong time to find Justine’s Facebook, and a fair amount of hardcore creeping. When I Finally found it though I realized she had her privacy settings locked up tight, the only way her account was identifiable was her profile picture.. She even subbed her last name for her middle name. not a bad idea for a teacher. I’m embarrassed to admit that I took this assignment so far as to make a fake Facebook to find this out, as I don’t have a profile at all…talk about a false online identity. Next step, Instagram.
I was shocked to fin out Justine wasn’t on Instagram. How does she stay up to date on her friends selfies, food pics, and nights out?! I wouldn’t be surprised though, after the lengths she went to make her Facebook private if she did have a very private account under a different name. Either way, a bust on that account. Next I tried a place I knew I could not fail, her twitter.
Justine’s twitter is very professional. Her tweets and likes are almost entirely connected to education. From her twitter feed it seems she passionate about Agriculture, anti-bullying, being a life long learner and educational technology. I was able to read some great post regarding “The Power of Life Long Learning” and “Chrome Tips For Teachers” and a few others. If your not following Justine already I Suggest you do (@msjgarrett).
Justine had her blog address linked to her twitter bio, so I headed their next. She has a really great professional blog. I loved her blog design! I headed to her “About Me” page and found out a lot about her!
I read that she grew up on a ranch in Cabri Saskatchewan, which I already had an idea about. She has a passion for sports, dance, her family, and owns a Clydesdale horse named Diesel…COOL! I also read her reasons for becoming a teacher and found that there very similar to my own. She wants to inspire students and provide as many opportunities as possible to them.
Lastly I finished up with the ultimate test of an online sleuth, a Google search. I found little else that I already had about Justine. A few results came up showing her involvement in her high schools SRC as Prime Minister, and some sporting events she participated in including track, and volleyball.
Justine’s overall Digital Identity is a very clean one. Though her identity is minuscule, when she does have accounts made public their very professional and positive. Her passion for agriculture, education, and sport is evident in almost all her online foot prints. She comes of as very put together, compassionate, and kind!