The word ‘digital footprint’ is, simply, your online activity/identity. This includes everything from social media accounts all the way to filling out online forms. What I found when I ‘Googled’ myself was somewhat surprising, yet I wasn’t overly surprised.

My current digital footprint consists of a couple social media accounts. What I found when I ‘Googled’ myself was something completely different. There were a couple Facebook and Pinterest accounts, one Amazon seller’s account and a few Twitter accounts. None of these accounts were actually created by me, which shows that I’m very cautious when it comes to my online identity, since you could not find any of my real accounts.

Out of the existing amount of data that creates my digital footprint, I thought my social media accounts would be a good representation of a few of the ‘5 C’s’: ‘Control of identity’ and ‘Contributes to the online community’. Someone who was viewing my account would not be able to tell where I live, how old I am or what any of my contact information is. Yet, I also comment on posts, or like posts, and I’m also active in certain group chats. These both contribute to a positive digital footprint, while keeping my identity private.

My digital footprint could possibly affect my future career or job prospects, since any prospective employer might not be able to find my online accounts. However, if they did look at my digital footprint, they would find that it represents me in a positive way, since I have not posted anything that is inappropriate (or illegal). I have also been respectful online, which I think would add to a positive digital footprint. A good digital footprint would also benefit my future education or post secondary aspirations, for the same reasons as stated above.

In our modern world, digital footprints can have a positive or negative impact on ourselves. Yet, every cloud has a silver lining. Even though you might not be able to control everyone else, you still have control over what you post, what you want to be shown.