Sleuthing & the Forever of the Internet

Buckle up friends, I have a lot to say this week!

This week our professor asked us to sleuth a classmate and see what we could find out about them via a Google search. My partner was Brooklyn Selinger.

I have known Brooklyn since my first year of University and we quickly became good friends. Since I know Brooklyn quite well and have her on many social media accounts, I used an incognito tab on my Chrome browser. This allowed my browsing to not have any of my accounts logged in which may lead to Brooklyn on a personal level.

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My experience sleuthing Brooklyn was tricky. I could only find a little cake cutting video on YouTube when I typed in her name to Google. I am not even sure if it is her because it never shows a face, nor does it have sound. From there I tried Googling her name with +Facebook and I still couldn’t find her. So, I then tried her name with +Instagram, also nothing. I was starting to get worried I would never be able to find her. I typed in Brooklyn Selinger” just like that, and her personal blog never showed up. But I clicked on another blog that looked promising.From that blog post there was a link to Brooklyn’s personal blog.

Screen Shot 2019-03-11 at 11.25.13 AM.pngI was able to gain a lot of information about her as a teacher through her blog as well as access her twitter account where I learned more about Ms. Selinger. I felt like the FBI trying different “codes” to try and find her and then dig on all her pages to try and find more and more information. It was actually really fun to really look into her and see what I could find out about her. If I did not already have her on Facebook it would have been interesting to see what I could find out about her there, as I know some people show their relatives, birthdays, and more personal information. Overall, I believe Brooklyn has a very professional digital citizenship that makes her look like a great teacher to have in any school!

Next we were asked to think about digital identity and I felt like I had a lot to say.

While reading Nicole Lee’s article, “Having Multiple Online Identities is More Normal than You Think”. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, how do people do this? How can people keep up multiple accounts on one type of social media? Is that even healthy?” I only have one Instagram, one Facebook, and one twitter account. Those are my three social media outlets. However, the more I read into Lee’s article I realized that in a way I do portray myself differently on each account. Heck, I even deleted my Facebook account when I graduated high school because I realized it was very unprofessional and could hinder my chances of getting a job as a teacher.

  • My Facebook now only has friends and family that I am close with and see orScreen Shot 2019-03-11 at 9.17.46 PM.png communicate with on a regular basis. I do not accept people I have only talked to or met once because I want it to be a network with people in my life who I like to keep up on their lives and them with mine. However, I barely post. When I do, I am usually reposting about local businesses, talking about my education journey, my horse, boyfriend, or family. But, I don’t post often and I keep it very locked up as to not share too much about myself with strangers.

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My Instagram is also private, and my bio is a series of emojies a crayon, stack of books, wheat, and sunflower. My posts on this network portray only my best and happiest memories and moments. Which in a sense is not the real me, I have many boring and hard moments in life too, but never post about these. Why? Is it bad that I don’t want others to see me vulnerable?Screen Shot 2019-03-11 at 9.13.26 PM.png

  • My twitter is a new outlet for me to be a professional and share with the world my ideas surrounding mostly education-based content, while also posting a few personal moments.

Why do we feel we can only share our best moments? Why do we post to meet different audiences? Is it to feel good about our own lives? To feel validated by different people? Is it healthy to have multiple accounts?

I carefully construct what I post now days because I am so fearful of people capturing a moment that could ruin my life. Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk
The Price of Shame” talks about a culture of humiliation we have created in today’s online world which publicly shames people for things they have posted or had stolen from their private devices without consent and shared online. She says, “a marketplace has emerged where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry” (16:14) in which clicking on gossip provides money to the person who put the content up. Making it a vicious cycle, especially for those who are being humiliated. And recently I have been so conscious about what I click on, what I like, share, and comment on.

There are so many memes with brutal comments put on humiliating photos of people all over the internet these days. I am super worried about offending someone because I know I would be very angry if someone used one of my worst photos, only meant for a friend, was leaked publicly and covered with mean or dehumanizing comments. I actually cried tears as I listened to Lewinsky say, “cruelty to other is nothing new, but online, technologically enhanced shaming is amplified, uncontained, and permanently accessible” (12:58) because we are never truly private on social media, no matter how many restrictions we put on our accounts. All it takes is one person to screenshot and send or share that screenshot with another person, another website and then the whole world sees it. This is why I am so afraid of the internet sometimes. We need to really trust our networks and ourselves and be confident and very sure of what we post and share.

3 thoughts on “Sleuthing & the Forever of the Internet

  1. Pingback: The Dino Summary | Justine Garrett

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