Remember the day you began your digital identity? You may have to think about it, or you may not. Either way, the fact is that if you are in your early 20’s or younger, you probably don’t remember. For many people today, their digital identities didn’t begin the day they made their first Myspace or Hotmail account. In today’s society, full of social media addicts, more and more people are being given a social identity before they are even born! A tech-savvy blogger, I recently found called Cat, wrote an article that explains exactly this. In her article “How Are You Defining Your Digital Identity?” she states that her two daughters’ social identities began hours after being born. This made me realize just how different every generation’s life will be, simply because of technology. Children are being exposed to technology so early in their life that it’s normal to see kids under the age of ten on Instagram. The ways that school’s are integrating technology into their system’s adds to this even more. Generations are growing up surrounded by technology. It’s everywhere and always being used…
This is where problems start happening; problems like a bad tattoo in a spot that is difficult to cover up. We have all heard stories, and some of us have experienced, the consequences of using social media. From photo’s posted to facebook after a night where you partied a little too hard, or an unprofessional tweet that was supposed to be private, things like this, that blemish your digital identity are added to the internet every day. Incidents like these can happen so easily when everyone has social media in their pockets, and technology in NOT slowing down. Blogger Catherine Kitts states in her article “Define Your Digital Identity”, that some people are very cautious with how they are presented in social media, while many other’s aren’t. Likewise, for people who are very active with the internet, their digital identity can mirror their true identity very well. And this is great! but for those who have matured at a faster rate than their digital identities, this is not so great.
As paper and pencil become a way of the past, technology is becoming the go-to place for nearly everything. People take classes online, go to meetings online, apply for jobs online, and following all of this, is the use of online profiles as resumes. Like tattoos, what is put on the web, stays on the web or, at least, can be very difficult to take off. For the generations that are growing up surrounded by technology, education on the consequences is very important. Digital identities are no longer just for personal use and friends, schools and potential workplaces are becoming common stalkers.
Catherine concludes her article by saying this:
“It’s easy to say you don’t care about the content in your profiles – You’re a human being! You have a drink from time to time! You complain! It’s a free world! It sure is, and all the power to you. Just remember… You won’t be in your twenties forever, and one day that free spirit of yours may come back to haunt you…”
This is so true, and very similar to a tattoo that maybe intrigued the old us but makes the present us uneasy. The bottom line is that we cannot control what happens in the future, but we can educate ourselves and others so that we can make better sense of the digital world.
Cat. “How Are You Defining Your Digital Identity?”. Binary Tattoo. http://www.binarytattoo.com/about-us/
Catherine Kitts. 19 APR 2013. “Defining Your Digital Identity”. In A Nutshell. http://inanutshell.ca/thoughts/defining-your-digital-identity/