National Week 2012

Keep Walking

Monday, April 29, 2013

Feature Article

Our feature article this term has been written by Syba Signs very own Mollie Bain. Mollie has been researching and developing an all new range of products titled ‘My Digital Footprint’ and has gathered a wealth of valuable resources and information to support these. We thought we would share it with you – we hope you enjoy it! See below for Mollie’s full article.

Cheers, The Syba Team

Keep Walking

Imagine if everything we did was catalogued. Our first tantrum, a secret nose pick, a school yard argument and those awkward teenage years. Picture this information in a library. Easily searchable with access granted, exclusively, to the entire world. I am thrilled to tell you that as our personal and professional lives transcend into the digital world this has become reality. Our online activity is recorded and our real life activity finds itself online. This library begins before we have even started living our lives. Twenty six per cent of Australian children have pre-birth scans uploaded to the internet and forty one per cent of mothers upload photos of their newborn child (Business Wire 2010). Welcome to the Truman Show, kids!

Digital footprints

Interactions in the digital world leave traces about us and contribute to our digital footprint. Every single teeny tiny digital interaction we make leaves a footprint and says much about who we are and what we do. Content we create including emails, uploads, photos, activity on social media, blogs and forums contribute to our digital footprint. Other ‘private’ interactions such as downloads, website visits, frequency of visits, amount of clicks AND links we click on in emails are traceable. Content that others have uploaded about us including mentions, tags and events attended also contribute to our digital footprint, phew!

Our digital footprint impacts our online life and real life. It can misrepresent our character and damage our reputation. It may hurt employment prospects, admission opportunities, affect friendships and embarrass family members. Information about ourselves can be used to exploit our interests, steal our identity or money and contact us offline. Being mindful of our online activity can ensure our footprint does not negatively impact us and with attention we can create a digital footprint that works for us.

Educating about our digital footprint

Managing our digital footprint is important and we need to start educating on this topic early! Eighty four per cent of Australian children under two have a digital footprint (Business Wire 2010). Even before they are school aged, we need to be teaching kids about exploring safe sites, using appropriate language, being aware of online connections and sharing their lives with the world. By school age kids need to understand that once online their work will be able to be copied, edited and critiqued.

Our digital footprint is a valuable and rewarding tool if it is managed with the goal of creating a positive online presence. Exploring the internet through created profiles we discover a never ending and always changing world of subjects, pages, networks and support. We can connect with like-minded people, share information, build a following, collaborate on projects, engage in worthwhile discussions, seek information and be sought out for our areas of interest.

Our greatest self

As our personal, professional, real and online lives become entangled we need to choose what we want to reveal to the online world. If we successfully manage our digital footprint we have the opportunity to showcase our greatest self, to everyone. Ensuring this greatest self is discoverable is an ongoing process. Every 60 seconds Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content, 571 new websites are created and 48 hours of video are uploaded to You Tube (Domo 2012). As the online world grows rapidly managing our footprint is a learning experience for all of us. We must continue to pursue this online presence though because the only thing worse than a damaging digital footprint, is no digital footprint at all.

It may be overwhelming, but it is also exciting! Look me up today and you will find an education and digital fanatic, boat-loving, country music enthusiast. This may seem an odd pick for ‘my greatest self but I am learning and collaborating with some wonderful people on all of my passions. This design is currently advantageous and relevant to me. Decide what fits for you. You may wish to work toward a Google Image search that produces a page flooded with glamorous photos of you surrounded by fabulous people. Our digital footprint should be our creation, our choice and for our benefit. We must keep walking in the direction of a positive digital footprint and teach our kids to do the same!

Mollie Bain


Our range of My Digital Footprint education resources includes the following:

Digital Resources:

Digital Signage:

Posters and banners:

Displays:

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