As my time as a Master’s student draws to a close, I’m starting to reflect on the course my digital identity will take once I’m no longer in a weekly tech class where I get updated in the latest and greatest in edtech.
The concept of identity and being split was very nicely put in Jessica Moser’s blog about a teaching versus a private version of oneself online.
Digital identity, as a concept, has been at the core of the majority of the discussion this semester. Everything about digital citizenship falls back on the idea of digital identity. Digital identity is becoming – or has already become – an essential part of existing in a current environment.
While examining what I’ve accomplished so far, I took a look at the history of my blog. I realized I’ve got half of my Master’s on this blog. To have half of my degree in a place where I can access my thoughts on topics quickly and also see classmates’ reactions to my thoughts is really invaluable. It creates a sense of accomplishment in seeing how far I’ve come from the first time I ever blogged to now, when I’m an old hand at it.
This blog has become an inextricable part of my digital identity. When I google myself, it pops up right away:
But, you’ll notice that not only my picture pops up but a couple pictures of my kids from my blog. They’re part of my digital identity, whether they know it or have chosen to be or not.
This is something I have to deal with once I’m done this class: the conundrum of erasure versus legacy. Do I leave those entries up because they mean something to my journey of edtech or do I erase them because my children deserve to create their own digital identities as they grow?
I thought about deleting this blog and my Twitter (sorry, Alec!) after I was done this class because I don’t if I could faithfully continue with either with any regularity, but then, I googled myself again. If I deleted my blog and Twitter, what would remain of my digital identity? The first hit would be “Rate My Teachers” and nothing from me.
In order to have a say in how I’m viewed online, I need to have input.
This means keeping the blog and keeping Twitter. I want to be in control of my digital identity and this means I cannot opt out of being online.
As much as I’d like to sometimes.