My Digital Footprint

During the lecture, I didn’t make any new discoveries regarding my digital footprint. Although it did evoke catharsis in the way I perceive my own data smog.

The lecture dug into my brain and indefinitely brought back the realization of how self-sabotaging one’s digital footprint can be.

I’ve heard of stories about employees getting fired because of their digital footprints, more notably from inappropriate pictures and posts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Being a digital citizen, I practice ethical online code of conduct. I’m not one to leave polluted digital discharge, but the lecture has certainly deterred me from displaying lewd behaviour in the future, if I ever become tempted.

To me, a person’s digital footprint is essentially their online presence. It is a trail left according to a person’s digital interactions, mainly from the World Wide Web. Digital footprints are indelible data that provide info on a person’s digital usage. Undoubtedly the most common trail of digital footprint is left through web browsing.

These online interactions are commonly recorded through the use of cookies. As the user browses the web, data is stored in cookies that can be collected by the website, which in turn can be used by the website for data mining. Among other purposes, this is a very helpful tool for analyzing demographics for market research. While this form of data retrieval evokes concern on privacy, it is legal whether you like it or not.

For those with issues on the infringement of their privacy, the internet is a realm in which freedom of speech is no holds barred. Feel free to express all of your thoughts and omit anything you wish to keep to yourself—it’s your choice!

As for me, the amount of data smog I discharge is fairly minimal. While I spend a lot of time “connected,” it doesn’t surprise me at all. My online activities aren’t so much time consuming, but frequently intermittent. I’ll check and answer personal and work mail a lot, and browse the mobile web when I’m commuting among other things.

I don’t frequent social networking sites or actively post on forums, but I do leave a respectable digital snail trail in the ways that I use digital media. When playing with friends online, I have a rep that I must uphold. My browser history can tell a person a lot about my interests and hobbies. I purchase everything online such as clothes, electronics, music CDs, movies, and even my new desk. My room itself is a testament to how much digital media owns my life.

I know it’s hard to keep away from digital media even for me, but too much data exhaust can suffocate us. When that happens, remember that you can always “unplug.”

This is Dan signing out. Until next time, play it cool techies.

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