This week, I once again teamed up with my boy Karter. We were tasked with cyber-sleuthing one another, or on other words, seeing how much we could dig up on each other just from a few quick google searches.
Like Katia has mentioned a few times in her presentations, our online life has become public by default, and private with effort. And as the world becomes more digital, how we present ourselves online becomes so much more important. I think looking yourself up every so often is extremely important for everyone to do because, for most people, they don’t know they’ve made a mistake until its too late. This was the case for those like Monica Lewinski, who in her Ted Talk “The Price of Shame” talks about how she went from being a nobody to public enemy number one in the eyes of the world. Justine Sacco is another example that I believe is more alarming because she was just an ordinary person like us. Jon Ronson in his Ted Talk talks about this further, how she was just one person with 170 twitter followers, but after posting one off-color joke on Twitter, she was mocked, abused, threatened, humiliated, fired from her job, and pretty much dead to the world. The fact is, we need to be careful about what we are doing online, and learn from those whose lives were ruined by their mistakes online.
So with that being said, and like I mentioned earlier, Karter and I decided to team up to try and dig up as much dirt as we could on each other. It is honestly a really addicting thing to do, and you end up down some weird rabbit trails, but it is an important thing to do. After an hour or two of searching and thinking of every angle I could to find information on Karter, the final conclusion I came up with was that he has done an INCREDIBLE job at keeping a professional online identity. When it comes to social media, he has done a great job in every area – from the things he posts, to his privacy settings, to even monitoring what his friends tag him in. Like Nicole Lee says in her article, it is very common to have multiple social media accounts, but if Karter did have any accounts that he didn’t want others to see, then he sure did a great job at making sure they weren’t connected to his name. With this being said, he has also done a great job of showing off his interests and hobbies, and everything else that could be important to an employer. The fact is, Karter’s online identity is what I believe we should all strive for, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little upset that I could find any dirt on him (other than he is a Canucks fan, which is pretty shocking). But great work Karter, you have done an excellent job of maintaining a professional identity. And to everyone else reading this, if you haven’t done so already, I recommend you take the time to look yourself up because, in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.