Growing up, posting and social media in general always made me nervous. I specifically remember in Grade 8 when we had a presentation on social media and the presenter said something along the lines of, “I could find any of your past or present posts, snapchats, etc. What if I pulled some of them up now?” I was completely freaked out. I had nothing to hide in my digital footprint, but the idea of anyone being able to see my social media presence seemed really scary to me. It’s safe to say that I began to use social media much less after that presentation, and I actually boycotted Snapchat for almost two years! However, while it is still unnerving to never really know who is seeing your posts, snapchats, and whatnot, I did begin to get back into social media as I got older. While I’m still cautious of my online activity, I nowhere near as fearful and anxious about being present on social media as I once was, and I have become more willing to share parts of my life on these platforms. When I first joined this class, I was super excited to be able to have the opportunity to design my own website, but having a public domain was a bit daunting. On my social platforms like Instagram I am usually just sharing pictures of myself and the things that I get up too, not necessarily opinions, ideas, and knowledge that I would be sharing here on The Fashion Daily. When I am writing, I try to keep my posts as real and true to myself as possible. I use this platform as a personal self expression outlet for my love of fashion, and I try not to let the idea of this being a public domain affect or restrict the things I am wanting to share and explore.
I figured that my website probably wouldn’t reach a wide audience over the semester, and I honestly never intended for it to. My goal was really to design this website for myself. When I added Google Analytics to my site and could visually see how many visitors had been on the page, it was kind of nerve-wracking. The majority of users are friends and family members that I have shared my site with, but the number of visitors to my site tell me that a few strangers (maybe classmates as well) have stopped by too which was cool to find out. The first few times I checked my Google Analytics and saw that I had gained a few viewers I was a bit stunned and nervous at the idea of it like I mentioned above. Now however, I find it really cool and check my analytics quite frequently in hopes of finding that my site has gained more viewers/visitors!
I think a part of the reason why I no longer shy away from using social media and other platforms such as this website is because I realized that in this day and age, it is almost impossible not to leave any “digital breadcrumbs” behind, as Pod Academy would describe it (2016). Throughout this article, it describes how we both intentionally and unintentionally leave digital footprints or “bread crumbs” of ourselves in our everyday lives. Whether that’s sharing your location on your phones, searching something on Google, or even using debit or credit cards to complete our everyday transactions. Activities that we engage in daily gather information about us and our movements, and there is not much that we can do about it. With this in mind, the thing that we can control is how much of our lives we share online or how many “breadcrumbs” we leave behind. This realization allowed me to feel more powerful and in control of how I share my life online, and also helped put my anxiety of sharing my online self at ease. Nothing that I have posted or shared online is anything that I really need to worry about or feel the need to hide (except for maybe some embarrassing photos and videos I posted when I was 10!). I have always given thought to what I share online, and like one of the interviewers stated in the article in regards to the possibility of being watched by cameras through different technology devices we use, “ When I first heard about it, I got really nervous, I was like, “this is so ridiculous!” we’re being watched. But then as the days go by you just don’t notice it anymore and you just take it for granted that you’re being watched every single minute”( Philip et al, 2016). I don’t necessarily take it for granted that my every move is being watched, but I do just tend not to think about it. Doing so allows me to just continue living my life and focus on what is within my control, like being present and enjoying the moments in life that only my eyes are seeing; with no cameras.
Overall, The Fashion Daily is a larger “breadcrumb” that I am leaving behind in my digital trail, and I am proud to do so. This website is evidence of hard work and displays my love for fashion, which I am more than happy to talk about as well as share with the world. This week, I encourage you to reflect on the digital breadcrumbs you have left behind in your life so far. Think of instances where you are proud of something you have left behind in your digital footprint like a post for instance, and some moments you maybe wish you didn’t share. If you would like to read more on the idea of these “digital breadcrumbs” that I have been mentioning, you can check out the article here: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/
Philip, G., Lazo, J.A., Jamali, R., Jaroodi, R.A. (2016). Digital breadcrumbs: the data trail we leave behind us. Pod Academy. http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/
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