I know our generation has this obsession with the First Amendment and what not... (I had a VERY hard time myself getting over this obsession). We like to exercise our right to say and do what the heck ever! Okay, but now it's time to step our Internet game up- because what you say, people ARE watching... Man, eyes are everywhere! I'll share my story then introduce my Internet Persona Test for you to consider, if you are serious about being taken seriously in this crazy world.
If you're like me, you might have most basically a Facebook and a Twitter. That's great, you should! If I meet somebody, it's almost red flagish if I can't find them on Facebook... It automatically makes me think, "this person is weird and I wonder what they hiding from."
Google. It's such a household word and I love it. I know you've Googled yourself before. I remember doing it in middle school, HOPING something would pop up that had to do with me... nope, nothing ever did. I always wanted to be important enough, by Google's standards, to be searchable.
I just completed an eye-opening project in my journalism class- a Google Essay. It is designed for us to see how the web views us. We had to act as if we lost our memory and the only information we could use was our name and state of residency.
Just by googling in "Alyssa Andrews Indiana" ...I got my whole life story and so much more. The two top hits are videos of mine from my YouTube Channel. Just by watching those, I can get an idea of who Alyssa Andrews might be. The third top result is my Twitter account. From this, I see that Alyssa is politically a republican, because she linked the College Republicans at Indiana University to her information. By simply clicking on this link, anybody can have the hourly update on my location, activities and thoughts.
A 6th hit down reveals that Alyssa Andrews blogs for We Are IU. By clicking on that, the first thing that comes up is a picture of me and accompanied by a small story I wrote explaining who I am. Here, you find my hometown, current location, clubs I am involved in, things that I do with my time, where I attend school, links to other things I do, like YouTube, and much more.
NOW THINGS GET SKETCHY... This is the title of a link on the FIRST page of MY information that I had NOTHING to do with!!
Here’s what just killed me… The last link on this page is a site called “My Life.” I had NO IDEA this was here. “Alyssa Andrews was born in 1992. Alyssa currently lives in Greenwood, Indiana. Before that, she lived in Johnstown, PA from 1998 to 2002” That is the quick preview of ME?? I have never heard of this site before… never put in information. I clicked on it, it knows that I’m 19, where I’m from… and on the side it gives creepers options such as "Contact Alyssa, see who she is connected to, view phone numbers, addresses, email, etc., and see who is searching for Alyssa." Those are the WORD FOR WORD options people have once they get to my page… I don’t even know how to shut that down!.
Basically, posting stuff is fun, but make sure it passes the time, family, church and you tests. :D
Okay here is what I mean. In 5 or 10 years, if it SOMEHOW comes up.. are you going to be proud of that party pic or vulgar tweet? Are you going to be okay with daddy reading it? If your church leader read the comment full of cuss words you had to say, maybe jokingly to your friend, would that be awkward? Most importantly, let's not forget, are YOU okay with what you post?
To those who don't know you, your "Internet persona" is the only impression they have of you. Is it accurate? Does it make you proud? Does it make you employable!?
Would it make me want to be your friend ;) ?
THINK ABOUT IT!