The biggest question I have pondered regarding one's internet presence is in regards to having a digital footprint. Should we have one?
That isn't really the question. You have one. The real question is how much control do you choose to have over it. This is something I spent a good chunk of time wrestling with and wrote about here.
My conclusion? A positive digital footprint is a good thing.
If it is good for us, why not for kids?
In an article out of Educational Leadership titled Positive Digital Footprints William M. Ferriter says,
While schools are teaching students to worry about the consequences of being found online, (Will) Richardson is worried about the consequences for kids who can't be found online.
He is not saying open the flood gates and encourage students to do anything they want online. Rather it is our responsibility to show them where the pitfalls may be. Then, once students have a firm understanding about the good, the bad, and the ugly, we need to encourage them to start their online presence so they can begin to establish their own positive digital footprint.
Lisa Nielsen's take can be found in her post Why I Let My Kids Have an Internet Presence. She says,
The way I see it, there is risk in everything we do. We put our kids on school buses every day without seat belts.
So why not a digital presence? She even lets her own children, "first and last name and everything".
Digital Footprint? Yes, heard of it. Digital Shadow? Now that is a new one. (A dark thing? Like in A Wrinkle In Time?) Sarah Perez in Calculate Your "Digital Footprint" with New Tool from EMC says that a digital shadow is all of your digital information generated about you. This information is generally passive, as opposed to your digital footprint that you play a direct role in putting on the web.
Your shadow includes things like images of you on a surveillance camera, your bank records, your retail and airline purchase records, your telephone records, your medical database entries, copies of hospital scans, information about your web searches, general backup data, information about credit card purchases, etc.
Not the kind of information you want broadcast to the world. So now that I have come to embrace my digital footprint it is time to wrestle with my digital shadow. How do you feel about your shadow?
Thumbs up photo: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/47749773@N04/6617077543/">briannaknt</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
Shadow photo: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameliatwu/4073991160/">CameliaTWU</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>