For some, you may not understand what cybersleuthing is well it is going on the internet google searching someone and finding anything and everything on that person. Cybersleuthing is a way for people to find out someone’s digital footprint and what their digital identity looks like. As we talked about in class sometimes this can be a deciding factor for a job, if your digital identity is not to the standard of what your employer is looking for, you may not get the job. Before EDTC 300, I never realized just how important creating a digital identity is for myself, I have started to create my identity and leave my footprint by becoming more active on Twitter, creating a positive Facebook and Instagram page, and creating this blog to demonstrate my educational journey and show all that I have accomplished.
In the article “having multiple online identities is more normal than you think” by Nicole Lee it did shock me when I read that she has “five Twitter accounts and a couple on Instagram” (para. 3). I cannot imagine having that many accounts, I get overwhelmed with the ones I do have!! But reading more I understand for some having multiple Twitter accounts may be what they need, only certain people follow some, and on certain ones, some stuff is shared compared to the others. One thing that did stand out to me and got me thinking was how her Instagram account is public but yet was embarrassed by her Instagram. If you do not want people to see it do not post it, that is how I look at it, everything that is posted on the internet stays on the internet forever.
I liked her saying “different sites, different audiences, different purposes” (para. 11) there are so many different social media sites each made for a different audience and purpose but in reality, the audience will be similar. Anyone can find you online, even if it may not be for their eyes they can still see it. I think this activity is important because it gets people thinking about what you should/ should not post and realize that even if your Instagram is not meant to be educational/professional like your Twitter account, employers will still be able to see/find it. So, it is important to start to build a positive digital identity right away. I am not saying delete everything that is not educational on your Instagram or Facebook, but it is important to be aware of what you are posting and if you were an employer and saw that would you hire yourself?
I decided to cybersleuth my friend and classmate Kelsey Middagh. I started by google searching her name and went through the different websites that appeared.
I found a bunch of different social media accounts that she has such as Facebook, Twitter (2 accounts), YouTube, and I looked at her WordPress, Instagram, and VSCO as well. Here is what I found about Kelsey’s digital identity:
To start I went to her Facebook, but since we were already friends, I was able to see everything she had posted and could not sleuth her as someone who is just searching her for the first time. We decided to unfriend each other for a bit so we can truly see how private our Facebook accounts are. I found Kelsey’s Facebook to be pretty private; I was only able to see a few of her photos. From her photos, I can tell that she enjoys spending time with her friends. She also is in a relationship according to her Facebook. Other than seeing eight photos and her relationship status, I could not find her birthday, age, or any of her likes or dislikes. Kelsey made it public for people to see that she graduated from Bonnyville Centralized High School, is currently attending the University of Regina, and where she is living now.
Next, I looked at her Twitter account from the google search her personal Twitter showed up which was private so I could not sleuth through that one.
But, I was able to look through her Twitter she created in May 2018, and I can only say is WOW. Just like the article Nicole Lee wrote, some people have multiple social media accounts. She is doing such a great job at sharing different educational resources, participating in different education chats and putting herself out there making different connections with people. From her Twitter, I could see it was kept very professional I believe this is because it is her educational account where she wants it to be professional. In her bio I am able to see she goes to the University of Regina, is organized, energized, and humble, and is a dog mom. She includes she is on Treaty 4 Land, includes her WordPress link, and her birthday. The only thing I would suggest to Kelsey adding to her bio is what she is passionate about in education to draw in more people to follow her and connect with her. I am able to know she likes dogs because her bio says dog mom, I would love if she added both her professional and personal life onto her Twitter and showed pictures out her dog!
On her Youtube account, I found nothing besides a playlist she created for studying. I feel in the future when she continues in her university journey she will create videos and add them, but for right now she does not have anything posted.
After I looked at her WordPress, this was very well organized and easy to move around and look through. Her blogs are all directed towards her education and look very professional.
Kelseys about page says: “My name is Kelsey Middagh and I am currently finishing up my second year in my Pre K-5 education degree at the University of Regina. I am currently employed under Sandcastle Daycare for the summer and I am certified ECE level II. I am originally from small town called Bonnyville, Alberta. I decided to attend the University of Regina because of the great things I have heard about its education program and as well as wanting to gain independence and start a new adventure in my young life! I am passionate about teaching young children and fostering their desire to learn and grow. I am beyond excited to start my pre-internship in the fall and begin to change children’s lives through being their educator.”
I am able to get a sense of where Kelsey is from, what she is currently doing, and why she decided to go into education. Her about page is professional and draws people in to read her posts and get to see her journey throughout University and what she has done.
Once I looked at her WordPress I looked at her Instagram account. Since Kelsey and I are friends and follow each other, it was easy to sleuth her. I know her Instagram account is private so others would have to request to follow her, but since we are friends, I was able to see her photos. Her Instagram gives a view of her personal life and has many selfies and photos with her friends and family. I am able to get a sense of her life outside of her school and shows how she spends lots of time with friends and family and how she has such a good support team behind her. I am able to know her age, where she is from, and what program she is currently in. She is doing an awesome job at keeping her Instagram personal but also keeping it professional, so when employers look at her page they want to hire her.
Lastly, I looked at her VSCO account since it was linked to her bio on Instagram. Her VSCO is very similar to her Instagram. She posts quotes, selfies, and pictures with friends and family. She is showing her personal life but also staying professional doing so.
Kelsey, your social media accounts give a sense of your personal life as well as staying professional, so good job! If I had to choose if Kelsey is an “undersharer” or “oversharer” I would say she is in the middle. She does not share a ton of stuff, but shares just enough to get herself out there and her presence known. Her digital identity is definitely a positive one, so as an employer I would hire her. I can see she is professional while still showing her personal life in a positive way.
I enjoyed this experience because it did give me an idea just how important a positive identity is for someone. One thing I realized when someone looks up Kelsey they may not know her birthday/age until you look at all her social media accounts and put everything together. On her Twitter, she gives her birthday but no year, however on her Instagram account she writes she is 20 years old. People who are cybersleuthing Kelsey would be able to put this information together and figure out more than what she has posted in one place. I have searched myself online before just to make sure there is nothing that is not true. Someone can search your name and have an idea of who you are before even meeting you which is why is it so important to have this positive identity online. All in all, Kelsey is going in the right direction to creating this positive identity and I encourage her to keep it up.