Whether I like it or not, social media and the footprint it leaves are here to stay! I can't say I was surprised about the data that can be found online about someone. I feel relief for the fact that I grew up before the 'digital age' truly got underway, and was therefore exempt from making all kinds of stupid (but permanent) mistakes just from being too young to know better. I also feel great concern for my children and students. There is no way to prevent them from making their own digital blunders, no matter how much we try to instill the importance of good digital citizenship into them. Not that we shouldn't try, but it seems to me we will have to come up with a way to forgive digital mistakes, or we are going to run out of acceptable candidates for almost everything!
That being said, I think it is EXTREMELY important that we teach students about digital citizenship. It seems to me that this subject is more pertinent to their lives and futures than almost anything else we teach them at school. As many of the articles sited by Nicole on the wiki page stated, prospective college students are being weeded out due to their social media posts. Link to NY Times Article from 2013. It doesn't end with college admissions, either. The stakes are just as high for people seeking employment.
Just for fun, I googled myself. There are a lot of Mona Mann's out there. Two of these are me.
|Google Search Image|
I guess I would rather know what's out there than not. Sometimes, it kind of makes me want to go back in time to slates and chalk and hand-written letters that took months to receive. But I do really like the new SMART board in the auditorium, and I love the camera on my ipad. The smartphone is pretty great, too. There's no going backward. Maybe we just need to step carefully, and use the backspace button a lot.