Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Digital Tattoos: Forward We March!

I am very sorry to have missed our face-to-face class meeting for the topic of digital tattoos, because it is interesting and pertinent, if somewhat chilling to me.  The permanent trail of data we leave online is the main reason I have chosen not to have an online presence on Facebook or other social media sites up until taking this class.  Having a Twitter account for school purposes has not bothered me, because it seems to be a good professional resource, and a nice way to open the classroom up to parents, but Facebook and Instagram make me uncomfortable.  I do not like the idea of my private life being shared with lots and lots of people.

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.


  1. Great post, and yes, we missed you last week! You have a healthy attitude regarding a digital presence and I like that you are open to exploring in class. There is nothing wrong with using caution, as long as you keep an open mindset like you have.

  2. Gosh, Mona, I love this post. Makes me think I will continue to blog and take it more seriously! Lots to think about --

  3. I still haven't got a Facebook site either. We had a lawyer talk to our staff many years ago about the dangers of Facebook, with stories about privacy settings being changed and people losing their jobs over comments they thought were private. It scared me off, but I can't help wanting to check out people's sites and occasionally use my husband's Facebook account to follow others. There definitely needs to be a separation of private and professional presences when dealing with social media. I am cautious, going forward in bigger than baby steps, with the help of this class!