Digital Footprint Reflection

Thoughts about living in a world where digital footprints are almost unavoidable for most people.

Does everyone have a digital footprint?  I am not sure how it can be avoided. Even if someone is not connected to social media, I think it is hard to avoid having a digital footprint.  Like everything, this comes with its advantages and challenges. If someone wants to be noticed, the digital world seems like a great way to get connected. There is, however, so much “noise” in the digital world. To sell a product or advertise, It is important to be creative, professional, and polished with social media connections, blogs, and websites. Having a focus or a personal brand is also a significant step to being noticed. This makes someone more marketable and sorts through the digital “noise”.  

If someone wants to go unnoticed, that can also be a challenge. A lot of information can be found just by Googling someone’s name. There is, however, a chance that some of the information found might not actually be accurate. (I Googled my sister and found someone entirely different with the same name). It is like trying to find your way through a maze. So to be unnoticed in the digital world might be easier than I originally thought. This could be an advantage to those who want to go unnoticed because the information seems sporadic and incomplete. Even though not all the information might be there, it is possible there could be some piece of information about a person. If someone does not want a digital footprint, it might be unavoidable. 

 What I discovered about my own digital footprint. 

I began my digital footprint search on Google. I started with my maiden name.  The white pages came up with my married name. All of the places I had lived and currently live were found along with my age and who I was related to. If I wanted to find out more information, I could buy a report.  I did not do this, so I do not know how much information was in the report. I also found an article I was cited in from the thesis paper I had published in college. I found a few images of maps and a relative as well. When I typed in my married name, I found a few images of people connected to me through work and family. I also found links to my present and previous career positions, professional and social media sites, and educational sites. There were definitely random pieces of information about me. Some of the sites also led to people that were not me or that I had no affiliation with. Overall, my observation was that my digital footprint contained random information about me and was somewhat inaccurate at times.