Digital Footprint

Even as a media and communication arts student I have always been very reluctant to engage in social media and immerse myself in the digital world. I have gotten away with not having a large online presence for most of my life but this pursuit is becoming increasingly difficult. Up until about two months ago the only platform of social media I could be found on was Instagram – where I have a private account, meaning other users are required to send me a follower request in order to gain access to my images.

I felt comfortable with this level of visibility because I was able to participate in an online community where I controlled what I posted and who was able to see it and I also didn’t have to juggle maintaining other social media accounts – updating statuses, writing bios, or changing my profile photo. However, with the changing landscape of not just sociability but also of my chosen field – journalism – I have been encouraged or arguably forced to put myself on display; gone are the days where articles can stand on their own, they now need accompanying tweets, sharable links and viral content.

I have now had a FaceBook, Tumblr page – two of them actually, one housing my online writing portfolio and the other a production project – and a LinkedIn account for a little over two months. Placing this much access to myself online honestly doesn’t sit well with me, not because I don’t trust the Internet so to say, but rather because I preferred my offline life. I’m sure I’ll get used to friends tagging unflattering photos of me or people messaging me, some of whom I barely know, and knowing when I’ve read it but I can’t help but wish the demand for this visibility both in my personal and professional life wasn’t so high.

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1 Comment

  1. I totally feel you on this. If I wasn’t a communications student I probably wouldn’t have most of my social media accounts either. I didn’t get a Twitter until about two years ago when I got serious about applying for internships and felt that It was almost necessary to have an online presence. I try to keep all social media posts somewhat relevant to hip-hop music, as that’s my field of focus. Most of my tweets are about new songs that I think are good, or how I can’t wait for xyz’s next album, etc etc. This might seem like an obvious thing, but I also try not to bash any material/artist who’s affiliated with any company I’d want to work with one day.

    When I reached out to Hot 97fm for an internship they asked me for my Twitter account. I think they appreciated the fact that my tweets were heavily focused on hip-hop news and not about what I’m having for lunch or how great last night was. Having a certain level of online presence definitely helps people in certain fields more than others.

    Like

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