Created: March 2017
Last Updated: April 2020
This learning experience is part of a playlist — two or more learning experiences focused on specific areas of the digital world. You can find this playlist, Building and Protecting Your Online Presence, here. This particular learning experience is the second in a sequence of six. Learning experiences in a playlist build off of each other, but they were designed so that they can also be completed on their own!
|Group or individual activity:||Individual|
|Ages:||13-18 years old|
|Online / offline elements:||This learning experience contains an offline activity, with a challemnge that requires a computer or mobile device with Internet access.|
Main area: Privacy and Reputation
Additional areas: Content Production, Digital (Literacy), Identity Exploration and Formation
|License:||This learning experience has been created by Youth and Media is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit https://dcrp.berkman.harvard.edu/about|
Consider how publicly information about you online may impact other people’s opinions of you, and identify ways you can shape how you represent yourself online.
Computer or mobile device with Internet access
[Optional] Pen or pencil
Video: Social Media and College Admissions - by CBS News
Video: Your Digital Footprint: Leaving a Mark - by Cable Impacts Foundation
You may already know that, to a certain extent, you can influence what people see about you online. Some ways you can do this include:
Being mindful about where and what you post.
It’s helpful to think of people who are likely to see a piece of information about you online as the “audience” for that information.
Whenever you share information online (even just directly with one person, like in a text or private message), you should be prepared for the possibility that it may spread well beyond the audience you intended to reach.
Who do you think is your “intended audience” for information you post?
It depends on your privacy settings as well as the social media platform you choose, but your audience could include just your closest friends / followers / connections, or be broad enough to include anyone who uses that social media platform, or anyone who searches for you online. But no matter who the audience is, information can be copied and posted somewhere else, someone can take a photo / screenshot of the content, or information can be shared through in-person and online conversations.
Managing those your friends with/followers of/connected to.
Tagging and/or untagging yourself from posts.
Adjusting your privacy settings on a given social media platform, or other website.
Reaching out directly to the person who posted a piece of content (particularly on social media and / or messaging apps) to ask them to remove the content.
However, one of the best ways to shape your online presence is to start creating content that represents you in the way that you see yourself. You can think of the combination of how you represent yourself and the way others see you online as your “digital reputation.”
Create one piece of content about yourself online or modify existing content that you feel reflects who you are in the best way possible. If you’d like, you can share the content — which could be, for example, a photo, video, or text-based post — through a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or on another website, such as a blog.
Some types of content you might consider creating might be:
Adding information about your volunteer or work experience
Describing one of your hobbies
Adding a summary about yourself that talks about your personal strengths or skills
Writing a blog post or creative piece
You could also modify existing content by, for instance, deleting or hiding posts that you feel don't show you in a way that you want to be shown.
In a paragraph, describe the online content that you either developed or modified and why you feel it reflects who you are in a positive way.
Amazing work completing this learning experience; we bet that others are really interested in seeing what you learned! We encourage you to share your write-up with an educator, mentor, or advisor, or a family member or friend. You can also share your write-up with the Youth and Media team via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please identify the title of the learning experience in the subject line of the email.