Section Two: Digital Footprint

Pritchard (2013) defines a digital footprint as all the information that is available online about a particular person. My digital footprint is vast; my basic information such as my name, email address, and where I live is available on many sites across the Internet. Although my digital footprint is vast, it does not contain in-depth personal information about me, as I choose not to publish this information online. There are some sites however that have more information about me than others, such as Facebook where I post approximately every two weeks, and Snapchat where I post photos daily. Facebook and Apple also retain my frequent locations, so they know where and when I travel. Google has access to my partial searches, and therefore can draw some insight into my thought processes.

My digital footprint portrays me as a person who utilises technology. I have my basic information in services such as HUE, which allows me to use my phone and computer to control the lights in my house. My Apple ID is linked to a large number of products, so not only does my Apple ID portray me as a user of a number of electronic devices, it also demonstrates that I am an extensive Apple user.

My personality is expressed the most on Facebook, although the majority of the posts I share are political articles, and restaurants and other venues I have checked into. The nature of articles I post on Facebook gives insight into my politics, interests and hobbies. However I believe that in the digital space, what you do not post says more about your personality than what you do say. From my many blank, or lacking, profiles I am being portrayed as more of a private person. As stated earlier, I believe the part of my Digital Footprint that says the most about my personality, is the amount of websites and apps I log into and the nature of these sites.

Whilst exploring my Digital Footprint it also came to my attention that Apple predicts where I am going to drive to at certain times and offers me an estimated travel time. For example Apple has discovered that I drive to Toorak Gardens at particular times on weekdays and offers a travel time in my notifications. It has also discovered that I do not drive there on weekends, and offers me a travel time to my parent’s house on Sundays, as I frequent that location at that time. Although this does not worry me, I now understand that my digital footprint contains my movements and can predict my behaviour.

Social recruitment, the use of social media as a part of the employment process, is becoming a popular exercise that employees use with 11% of people not being selected for a role because of their digital footprint (Pritchard, 2013). This information makes me aware of how important it is to portray yourself as someone you are proud of. I am proud of the person I portray on social media, and I do not think I have posted anything that may jeopardise my future employment opportunities. One concern I do have after exploring my digital footprint however is the political standing I portray across various social media websites. I believe that if a future employer saw this, and had different views to me, it may jeopardise the possibility of me winning that position.