Digital Footprint

Patrick Sarad

What is a digital footprint? Why is it important?

What are digital footprints? Now, some may think that it is an actual footprint that has been digitized, but that isn’t the case. Digital footprints are the imprints you leave online. This could be anything from a social media account to a video game profile. Going more in depth, digital footprints are pieces of info you leave behind so that people can find you and learn about you. This is kind of like leaving breadcrumbs in a forest to follow your trail back. The difference about your digital footprint, though, is that you you can't erase it, no matter how hard you may try. Once you post something or place a piece of information out into the web, it stays there forever. This is why it is vital to be careful when doing different things online.

What does my digital footprint consist of? What tools do I use online?

My personal digital footprint is quite small. It doesn't contain too many things because my use of media is different than what others might use for it. Depending on the type of example given, I do different things:

What impact does/can my digital footprint have on my future?

The impact my digital footprint can have in the future could be one of two things: negative or positive. My footprint does veer more towards a positive outlook, but there can be different things about it that make it negative. First of all, it is positive because it reveals many different interest and skills of mine that are good for people to look at. I also have images that make me look like a good person. Some negative parts of my digital footprint are that all of my posts are outdated,except for twitter. This means that I don’t really have anything for people to look at in order for them to judge my present self. Also, a few friends of mine tag me in funny videos that later appear on my profile. These videos may not be that funny to other people who do not share the same humor as I have.

How can I improve my digital footprint?

There is a lot that I can do in order to improve my digital footprint. Since I don't have too much of an online identity, I can do much to improve all of my social media pages. Across Facebook, twitter, Instagram, linked In, etc. I can do the following 2 things:

  1. One way I can improve my digital footprint is by posting more positive things. With this, I will have a combination of more updated posts and positive ones that will boost my image as a good and exceptional individual. Along with that, people can see good things about my daily life. Such an example that already exists is a tweet of me getting a good place on a cross country meet. This shows off me as being a good runner. This helps me out because people can see my accomplishing life and be more obliged to hire me.

  2. Another way I can improve my digital footprint is by adding on more information about me that would appeal to the people who view my page. Ways I can do this is by adding favorites to my pages, following/adding people who are in my interest field, or by making bios that explain my life, skills, and interests.

Whats the most important thing I learned about maintaining a positive digital footprint?

The most important thing I’ve learned this year in digital literacy that has helped me out with my digital footprint is that making accounts on media web pages such as LinkedIn can help me out immensely. LinkedIn is one of many websites that can help me out a lot on improving my digital footprint. This is because it is a website made on the sole purpose of gaining connections that can help you out in life. There are no posts made that contain slang words or posts that are about “tbh” and of the such. Websites like LinkedIn are completely professional and can actually get you somewhere or, overall, get known.