Being aware of your Digital Identity
‘Digital Identity’ (DI) is a term to describe the persona an individual presents across all the digital communities in which he or she is represented. As we use more and more online services which allow user content and discussion, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, blogs and so on, we leave a ‘digital footprint’. This ‘footprint’ is what makes up our Digital Identity (DI) – all those things which can be found out about us from the content you posts, the profiles we make, the conversations we have with others and the things other people post about us. Much of this material remains accessible for an indefinite period.
Unlike a conversation in a coffee shop, what is put on the Web tends to stay on the Web. With the increasing processing power of computers, it will become easier over time to aggregate this information to build a profile of someone. Various Web sites are already starting to do this, with varying degrees of accuracy. What would someone who searches the Web for you find? Does it reflect the image of yourself you want to portray? If there is something about you on the Web, how would you find out about it? What does it say about somebody if they have no Web presence in today’s world? If you are responsible for others, are there any extra precautions you should take? As a health professional you may find patients and potential patients searching for you online, and too much public information may not be appropriate. On the other hand, as a 21st century individual, you are likely to want to use social networking sites to keep in touch with friends and to keep you up to date with your profession.
The ‘This Me’ workbook is designed to help you explore the ideas and issues surrounding the concept of Digital Identity, and is available to download here:
An RCC advice note on chiropractors’ use of social media is available here.