This was a very interesting experience. I have never been someone who really enjoyed cyberstalking… or in this case sleuthing. I don’t like my own personal space being invaded and this feels like a big invasion of privacy. But hey! If you put it out on the internet you have to be prepared for the world to find it. Now, mind you this was not the most intense deep dive but there comes a time where you have to stop looking through the 1000+ photos on someones Instagram.
At first, I didn’t really see the value in this exercise then I really thought about everything that we have been learning the last few weeks and realized just how important our online presence is in today’s world. We have to consider the fact that our future employers will likely look at our online footprint before they even consider us as candidates for a job position. Natalie Severt wrote a really interesting article that helps you determine if your social media platforms and online presence needs a little dusting or a deep clean before you start applying for jobs. Feel free to give that a read.
For this sleuthing exercise, I was given permission from Ms. Maple Jane Baxter to creep up on her online presence. I must say she was a little disappointed when I showed her my findings, she wanted a little more dirt. I guess I don’t have a career as a P.I. in my future if education doesn’t work out. I went through several of her profiles and I have a complete collection here. Last names were kept private for friends and family because we don’t all need to go to their pages later.
The first thing I looked through was Facebook. You couldn’t tell if she had the privacy settings on or if she just didn’t bother to include certain information. There were no inappropriate pictures or posts. For the most part, the posts that could be seen were just looking for information or notifying others of news or events.
Next, I looked through Instagram. This is where I found most of her friends/family. Her pictures were all very appropriate and definitely Instagram worthy! One thing I found was that she often tagged friends in her photos. This is innocent enough but one thing I considered when thinking of my own accounts was how far people would be willing to look into things. While we may have very professional photos on our account, it is very possible that our friends may have less flattering photos on their accounts.
I then looked through Pinterest. I didn’t expect to find anything wild and crazy here it is just one of my favorite platforms and I like to see what other people like. I think that it is a really good platform for educators to share resources and ideas. Maple had a very interesting account full of recipes and ideas. I even gave her a follow because I am interested to see how her education board grows as she progresses through her education career.
After I got lost on Pinterest I decided to move on to her Twitter. Be sure to give her a follow! She shares some really awesome content that ranges from articles and resources all the way to personal experiences. The overall layout is very warm and inviting and makes you want to know what she is going to do next. As she moves forward I hope she continues to engage more with fellow educators and professionals.
Last but certainly not least looked at her blog. Overall it is very well laid out and as she continues on I’m certain that it will get better and better. She has used this blog for a number of classes and her posts are very well written and give a really good perspective.
Overall, this was a very valuable lesson, I gained a lot of insight into my own accounts and online presence and hope to build a more enriched and positive footprint moving forward!