Visual Essay

Cyberbullying

When I was at school I remember witnessing fights in the playground and students being called names in the classroom; this was bullying as I knew it. Nowadays, due to the rise of technology in our day to day lives, bullying is becoming more and more common online. It is now a major issue, but cyberbullying, as it is known, has become a particular problem on social networking sites, specifically Facebook. This blog post and visual essay will discuss cyberbullying in relation to Facebook, with focus on what cyberbullying is, where it can happen online, the different types of cyberbullying and the effects it can have on its victims.

Cyberbullying has been described as “any form of bullying which takes place online or through your mobile phone” (Bullying UK, 2010). However, as we are now growing up in an increasingly digital economy, cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent due to children having easier access to technology and social media. I, personally, have access through my iPhone, iPad and laptop as do the majority of others these days, which makes cyberbullying more common. Those who are guilty of cyberbullying do so in order to upset, threaten or embarrass someone. It can in some ways be worse than physical bullying as the information can be spread rapidly to a vast audience causing the victim more humiliation and hurt (The I In Online, 2010).

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Figure 1: Cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can occur almost anywhere online and through most forms of technology, including social networking sites, email, blogs and texts, to name a few. But, as mentioned previously, it is becoming more common on social networking sites. Research shows that 39% of teens who use social networking sites have been bullied in some way in comparison with 22% of online teens who don’t use these sites. This highlights that these sites are the main ground for online bullying to take place (Gilkerson, 2012). Cyberbullying is specifically established on Facebook – one of the most popular social networking sites, which has an average of 900 million visitors each month (eBiz, 2014). The issue of cyberbullying on this site was highlighted when one million children reported being bullied here between 2010 and 2011 (Consumer Reports, 2011).

Cyberbullying can occur in many forms, all of which have negative impacts on the victims. Three of the most common types of cyberbullying are: Harassment, Flaming and Outing. Below are some definitions of these terms as described by the End to Cyberbullying Organization (ETCB, 2011):

Harassment – This is where the bully sends vicious and aggressive messages to someone, usually occurring on a regular basis.

Flaming – This has been described as being similar to harassment but occurs when people are having an online argument and the bully directs offensive comments or images at the victim.

This form of cyberbullying has been noticed on Facebook a lot and mostly occurs on ‘open groups’ on the website (Sophie, 2012).

Outing – This is where the bully leaks personal data about an individual such as information, images or videos.

Every form of cyberbullying has negative effects on the victims including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and the most serious effect of feeling suicidal (Gordon, 2014). Anxiety and depression usually occur together and are the most common effects of cyberbullying, mostly as a result of decreasing self-confidence. In terms of feeling suicidal, the victims usually feel worthless and that this is their only way to escape from the bullying (Gordon, 2014).

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Figure 2: Sadness.

Unfortunately, there are many cases like this including the story about Lewis Thelwall, a 19 year old photography student. When two girls posted vicious and untrue rumours about Lewis on Facebook it caused him serious distress and upset.  As Facebook is an extremely popular site, rumours are able to be spread rapidly and to a huge number of people, encouraged by the options to ‘like’ and ‘share’ images and statuses. After the online abuse, Lewis committed suicide and a coroner urged people to think of the consequences when posting comments about others online (Arkell, 2013).

Here, Khushal Shah tells his story about how he was bullied through the site, Facebook. Luckily, for him, he came out on top and now campaigns to stop cyberbullying. Khushal explains how it feels to be cyberbullied and the effects it has on victims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK0ZwaOIwvU

Due to the ever expanding digital world, I think people need to be made more aware of the dark side of technology, where people’s privacy can be abused and their feelings damaged. Cyberbullying is an issue that has to be taken seriously due to the large number of people who fall victim to it and the serious effects it can have on them. Overall, it is important to think before you speak, or in this case, type.

Below is the link to my video for the visual essay which pin points the main ideas of this blog post:

http://www.moovly.com/usergallery/56b304e4-8dfc-1236

References:

Arkell, H. (2013). Coroner warns of dangers of Facebook after student, 19, targeted by young women bullies online hanged himself. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513782/Facebook-bullies-led-suicide-student-19-hanged-himself.html

BreakingWorldNews. (2013). Cyber-bullying: One teenager’s experience. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK0ZwaOIwvU

Bullying UK. (2010). What is cyber bullying? Retrieved from http://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying/

Consumer Reports. (2011). Bullying, Cyberbullying & Suicide Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/statistics.html

eBiz. (2014). Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites. Retrieved from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites

ETCB Organization. (2011). 5 Different Types of Cyberbullying. Retrieved from http://www.endcyberbullying.org/5-different-types-of-cyberbullying/

Gilkerson, L. (2012). Bullying Statistics: Fast Facts About Cyberbullying. Retrieved from http://www.covenanteyes.com/2012/01/17/bullying-statistics-fast-facts-about-cyberbullying/

Gordon, S. (2014). What Are the Effects of Cyberbullying? Retrieved from http://bullying.about.com/od/Cyberbullying/a/What-Are-The-Effects-Of-Cyberbullying.htm

Sophie, A. (2012). Flaming on Facebook. Retrieved from http://essay.utwente.nl/62439/

The I In Online. (2010). Cyber Bullying. Retrieved from http://www.theiinonline.org/secondary-schools/competition/cyber-bullying/

Torres, J.C. (2013). Cyberbullying. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/61626678@N07/9109171738/

Unsplash. (2014). Sadness. Retrieved from http://pixabay.com/en/sad-depressed-depression-sadness-505857/

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Blogpost 8

At the beginning of my interdisciplinary class, “Living, Learning and Working in the context of the digital economy”, we were put into groups of three; these were our ‘blog buddies’. Over the course of this class we were required to write a number of blogposts on a variety of related topics. The purpose of our blog buddies was to leave a comment on our blogposts each week with positive feedback and also things that we could improve on for next time. I had never written or viewed a blog before beginning this class so it was good to have other students who were in the same boat as

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Figure 1: Peer to peer diagram

I felt that having others commenting on my posts really influenced and progressed my learning. Each week I spent time reading the comments that had been left on my posts from my blog buddies and sometimes from my tutor. I found this process extremely helpful as I was able to read other students’ views on what I had written and use these to develop my posts. I think it was beneficial to hear from people who are doing the same thing as you as they can relate to what you are writing and why you are writing it. I also found it helpful to hear from our tutor on some of my blogposts as she was able to ensure us if we were on the right path or not.

In addition, I also had the opportunity to leave my own comments on my blog buddies posts too. Being able to critically assess someone else’s work was helpful for when I wrote my next blog as I had more ideas to consider and I felt more confident in assessing my own work. This is evidenced as peer assessment can give you more responsibility for your own learning and you can use this evaluation practice to help you evaluate your own work too (Bostock, n.d.). Personally, whenever I am writing an assignment I ask to read my friends work and for them to read mines to get their opinion too. Therefore, I found it really useful to be able to read other students work; not only because I found it interesting but because I liked to view how they structured their blogs and what their opinions were. This helped to influence my own work as I could take tips from their blogs and gain some ideas for my following posts.

On the other hand, I hope that my comments on my blog buddy’s posts were helpful to them and allowed them to improve and advance their ideas too. Research shows that through help from friends, people may enhance their learning and skills (Erwin, 2012). To do this I spent time reading their posts and noting down everything that I thought was really good about the post and then thought of some ideas that they could consider for future posts. Finally, I hope that by reading my blogposts this influenced their learning as well. I aimed to make my blogposts informative and interesting and sometimes included further reading links. Therefore, I hope this helped in building and enhancing my buddies’ knowledge too.

Overall, I have really enjoyed writing my blogs, developing my ideas each week and learning about different topics related to digital economy; it was also great to learn a new skill in conversational writing! I think the idea of peer support was really beneficial in helping me to keep on the right track and enhance my knowledge on each of the topics we wrote about. As well as finding out information each week through my own research, I was able to widen my knowledge by reading my peers posts. I also hope that my comments on the other student’s blogs were useful and helped them to improve their writing too.References:

Bostock, S. (n.d.). Student peer assessment. Retrieved from http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/engageinassessment/Student_peer_assessment_-_Stephen_Bostock.pdf

Erwin, Z. (2012). Benefits of Peer Support. Retrieved from http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-peer-support/

Nicubunu. (2009). Peer to peer diagram. Retrieved from https://openclipart.org/detail/22366/peer-to-peer-by-nicubunu

Blogpost 7

Cyberbullying and Facebook:

For our overall assignment for our ‘Living, Learning and Working in the context of the Digital Economy’ class we have been asked to create a visual essay on a topic of our choice. Before we do this, my blogpost for this week will give a brief overview of the topic I have chosen and why I have chosen it.

I have decided to select the topic of cyberbullying and when discussing this, I will be linking it directly to cyberbullying on the social networking site, Facebook. Facebook is the most popular site of this kind, racking up an average of 900 million visitors each month (eBiz, 2014). Therefore, I chose to link it to this as I think it will be a major ground for cyberbullying due to the number of users it has. Consumer Reports (2011) confirmed this by saying that in the years of 2010 and 2011, one million children reported that they were being bullied on Facebook in a number of different ways.

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Figure 1: Social Network, Facebook, Network.

Within my visual essay, I will be discussing a number of aspects of cyberbullying which I believe to be necessary in order to understand the seriousness of the topic. I will begin by describing what cyberbullying is and will then go on to talk about three main factors of cyberbullying. These include: where cyberbullying can happen online, what kind of bullying it involves and what effects it can have on its victims. All the while, I will be relating this information to Facebook and will hopefully have some examples from the social networking site as evidence.

Although I have never been bullied myself, I have witnessed cyberbullying online, mostly in the form of nasty comments on peoples’ posts/pictures or spreading inappropriate rumours. Due to this being online, the bullies don’t see the negative effects they are having on the victim as they are not seeing them in person. However, these effects are still happening, meaning awareness has to be raised.

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Figure 2: Depressed.

There are a couple of reasons for my selecting of the topic, cyberbullying. One being that it has been an area that I have been interested in for a while. When I was in 5th or 6th year of high school, we were educated slightly on the topic of cyberbullying, and it struck an interest. How were people bullied online? What types of bullying were possible online? How did it affect the victims? I think it also caught my attention because I knew that many members of my family used the internet, and I thought if I was made more aware about the subject then I could help to ensure it was not happening to them.

In addition, as the digital world increases and develops, so do the number of ways that cyberbullying can occur. Therefore, I thought this would be a suitable topic to discuss as it needs to become more recognized in society and people have to be made more aware of the issue.

Overall, my visual essay aims to make people more aware of cyberbullying, what kind of bullying it involves and what the effects are on the victims. I hope this blogpost has given an overview of what my visual essay will cover and why I selected it.

References:

Consumer Reports. (2011). Bullying, Cyberbullying & Suicide Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/statistics.html

eBiz. (2014). Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites. Retrieved from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites

Simon. (2013).  Social Network, Facebook, Network. Retrieved from http://pixabay.com/en/social-network-facebook-network-76532/

SteinsplitterBot. (2010). Depressed. Retrieved from http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Depressed_(4649749639).jpg

Blogpost 6

Pros and Cons of Online Surveillance; The Webcam Story.

Internet or online surveillance has been described as “the monitoring of activities of an individual, group or groups of people” (Mobbs, 2003). One central method for online surveillance, which is on the rise across the globe, is using webcams for surveillance within the home; in order to provide a sense of security and privacy. Of course, online surveillance can be used for a number of other reasons and in many different ways; such as police looking for criminals through CCTV cameras or for journalistic reasons. However, I have chosen to discuss, in this blog post, some of the advantages and disadvantages of online surveillance through the use of webcams in people’s homes. I have chosen to discuss this aspect of online surveillance as it relates the most to myself as my family and I use our home webcam frequently, and also because it has recently been on the news.

One technique, which is becoming increasingly popular around the world, is using a webcam as a surveillance method to capture footage within your house. This is one advantage of online surveillance; the webcams can be used to monitor your household when it is empty in order to capture any unusual activity, if it were to occur. For example, it could be useful in catching burglars or any other inappropriate activity within the home. Using webcams to monitor also gives homeowners a sense of security and privacy, another advantage of online surveillance. Using these cameras to survey gives the owners the confidence that activity will be caught on camera, allowing them to phone the police or take the appropriate action. Therefore, online surveillance allows people to feel their homes are more secure and privatized, even when they are not in, and also allows the houses to be monitored, encouraging the safety of the residents.

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Figure 1: Webcam on Laptop.

On the other hand, online surveillance also has its disadvantages. While using webcams as a surveillance method has been on the increase, so has the number of webcams which are being hacked. These cameras are being used with the intention to provide security, however, more increasingly, they are instead providing surveillance footage that everyone can view online (Smith, 2014). This is the first disadvantage of surveillance; the recordings captured can be streamed to everyone online due to the cameras being hacked, which is a severe invasion of privacy. This makes me slightly worried as my brother uses the webcam a lot to Skype his friends and I am wary that he could be being watched. My anxieties were heightened when the Daily Mail reported about a website which is showing footage stolen from hacked webcams. The people behind this are hacking webcams which are connected to the internet and are being used as surveillance tools or for other online reasons (Gordon, 2014). They are able to hack these cameras as the owners have not changed the default password on their computer or laptop. The website is now showing recordings from over 73,000 different webcams around the world which highlights how severe this problem is. Since reading about this report, I have ensured that the password on my home computer has been changed so there is less chance of it being hacked and we can ensure our privacy.

I have included the link to the BBC News website where a charity warns about these webcam hackers and a girl from Glasgow tells her story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22967622

Overall, there are both advantages and disadvantages of online surveillance; obviously, there are many others that this blog has not mentioned due to the word limit. As mentioned previously, I wanted to focus on the use of webcams as an online surveillance technique within the home as it was in the news recently and relates most to myself. However, I have acknowledged that online surveillance can be used for many other reasons and in many other ways, such as CCTV cameras within the public domain.

If you are using webcams for surveillance within your home, just remember someone could be watching, so take precaution.

References

Dancter. (2009). Webcam on Laptop. Retrieved from http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Webcam_On_Laptop.JPG

Gordon, J. (2014). Is this creepy website live-streaming YOUR living room? 73,000 webcams now viewable to anyone because their owners haven’t set a password. Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2826632/Caught-73-000-internet-cameras-Bedrooms-living-rooms-world-viewable-owners-haven-t-set-password.html

Mobbs, P. (2003). Privacy and Surveillance. Retrieved from http://www.internetrights.org.uk/briefings/irtb05-rev1-draft.pdf

Smith. (2014). Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords. Retrieved from http://www.networkworld.com/article/2844283/microsoft-subnet/peeping-into-73-000-unsecured-security-cameras-thanks-to-default-passwords.html

 

Blogpost 5

Digital Citizenship: Health and Wellness

Citizenship can be described as “the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community”. Hence, this is the same for digital citizenship within a digital community (Heick, 2013). The idea of digital citizenship is quickly increasing around the world and relates to how we should act online and what we should teach the next generation. There is much discussion on how people can abuse technology because they are unaware of how to use it properly, so digital citizenship can teach them how to use it appropriately (Ribble, 2014). There are nine elements involved in digital citizenship and this blog will focus on and discuss the ‘digital health and wellness’ aspect. This factor involves using technology in a safe and responsible way, in order to avoid physical and psychological health problems.

One main factor involved with the health and wellness aspect of digital citizenship is ergonomics; physically using the computer in a safe manner. The aim of ergonomics is to eliminate distress and injuries related to the overworking of muscles and the repetition of work (CDC, 2014). This can involve sitting up with a straight back, keeping a safe distance from the computer screen and sitting for short periods of time. If you are not aware of and do not follow these factors then you can cause yourself physical pain such as arthritis, back strain or eye problems. Personally, I can relate to this aspect of health and wellbeing as I get bad back pain if I sit in the one position at the computer for too long and also suffer from eye strain. Therefore, I need to be aware of ergonomics in order to avoid these problems. One statistic regarding office workers states that their day involves being sat in front of a computer screen for 95% of their day, which highlights the importance of digital citizens being aware of ergonomics (OSHA, 2010).

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Figure 1: Safety Awareness Campaign – Ergonomics 101.

In addition to the physical problems you can suffer from when using technology, there are also psychological issues to be aware of. It is claimed that internet addiction is now categorised worldwide as a severe problem and can include; online relationship addiction, internet obsession and “information overload” (Vogel, 2013). Internet addiction is one of the most common psychological problems and can cause serious lack of sleep, behavioural issues and academic troubles. However, Digital Citizenship involves its users being instructed on how to keep safe when using technology (Ribble, 2014). Although, I do not personally suffer from internet addiction, I do get distracted a lot by social networking sites when studying or doing University work, and have to switch my phone off to concentrate.

This video, from YouTube, expands on the different factors involved with internet addiction and should give a further understanding on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDZa474VZ0

Overall, digital health and wellness is just one specific part of Digital Citizenship as a whole. It covers both the physical (ergonomics) and psychological aspects of using technology. It is important to follow and adhere to the information involved with digital health and wellness in order to avoid dangers when using technology in the Digital Citizenship community.

References

CDC. (2014). Workplace Safety and Health Topics: Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ergonomics/

Ergonomics-info. (2010). Ergonomics in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.ergonomics-info.com/ergonomics-in-the-workplace.html

Heick, T. (2013). The Definition of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. (2013). Safety Awareness Campaign – Ergonomics 101. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa_goddard/8698794145/

Nsdcni. (2011). Digital Health and Wellness. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDZa474VZ0

Ribble, M. (2014). Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/

Vogel, P. (2013). Digital Health and Wellness. Retrieved from https://cunedigitalcitizenship.wikispaces.com/Digital+Health+and+Wellness

Blogpost 4

Remix Culture: Pros and Cons

Remix culture is becoming increasingly popular with YouTube being the main ground for remixers to show off their work and become ‘famous’. Remixing has been explained as reconstructing, editing and combing original pieces of work to make something which is completely new as well as finding new ways of expression (Jessell, 2013). This can include items such as mash-ups, spoofs and fan fiction which can be created by anyone who has a personal computer and internet access (Gasser & Ernst, 2006). Making this new content available online has many advantages and disadvantages which this blog will discuss with mention to the ethical issues of this up and coming remix culture.

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Figure 1: Online-videomarketing.

Making your remixes available online can be beneficial as it can help in showcasing specific people or items, such as a band or a musician, and can make them known to a wider audience. An example of this would be a remix artist taking a well – known song and changing it up which, in turn, has benefits for both the remixer and the original artist (Woodring, 2011). If the remix artist makes his work freely available online for others to see then it gives him visibility as they are being able to exhibit their work while also giving the original artist more exposure. In relation to this idea, when I was listening to the radio a few months ago I heard a remix of a song which I used to really like. This remix reminded me of how good the original song was and also made me aware of this new artist which highlights the benefits mentioned above. The song, which I will link below, was ‘Rhythm of the night’ originally by Corona, released in 1994 and remixed by Bastille in 2014.

Bastille: Of the night – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCTDKLjdok4

There are, however, some disadvantages of allowing others to freely view your remixed content online. If you make your work widely available online there is a chance of being accused of copyright if you do not have permission from the original artist to use their work. Copyright law is a major ethical issue when it comes to remixing content and legal action can be taken in some of these circumstances. One example of remixing which can face legal action is mash – ups. A mash – up is usually in reference to a video or a website which uses various different sources to create something new and unique. This type of remix faces the risk of being illegal if the remix artist uses large parts of the original work without gaining permission from either the original artist or from a license such as Creative Commons (O’Brien & Fitzgerald, 2006). Under the copyright law, the court have to take into consideration what a ‘large part’ of the original work is based on its importance to the overall content. Therefore, if you are making your content freely available online, you must ensure you have certain permission to be using the authentic work or there could be serious consequences.

When searching for mash-ups online for my blog, I realised there were thousands of different remixes, which highlighted to me just how vast this remix culture is. One example of a movie mash-up which I found on YouTube can be seen here, 2013 Movie Trailer Mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU8CvjIwAlY

In conclusion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of making your content freely available online and this blog post just touches on these. Showcasing your remixes online is a good way to enhance creativity and make your work known while still heightening publicity for the original artist. However, you must be aware of the copyright standards when using other people’s work and ensure permission is gained before remixing. You don’t want your hard work going to waste.

References

BastilleVEVO. (2013). Bastille – Of the night. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCTDKLjdok4

Gasser, U., & Ernst, S. (2006). From Shakespeare to DJ Danger Mouse: A Quick Look at Copyright and User Creativity in the Digital Age. Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2006-05. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/paper=909223

Jessell, M. (2013). Remix Culture: Rethinking what we call original content. Retrieved from http://marketingland.com/remix-culture-rethinking-what-we-call-original-content-41791

O’Brien, D., & Fitzgerald, B. (2006). Mashups, remixes and copyright law. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/4239/1/4239.pdf

The Sleepy Skunk. (2013). 2013 Movie Trailer Mashup. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU8CvjIwAlY

Wermenbol, L. (2014). Online-videomarketing. Retrieved from http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/online-videomarketing-er-is-meer-dan-het-aantal-youtube-views

Woodring, T. (2011). Remixes are good for you. Retrieved from http://songwritingbusiness.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/remixes-are-good-for-you.html

Blogpost 3

Digital Identity: Advantages and Disadvantages

The majority of people in today’s society have a ‘digital identity’ made up of information on social networking sites and many other online places. This is highlighted in figures such as there being 900 million monthly visitors to Facebook and 310 million monthly visitors to Twitter just this year (The eBusiness Guide, 2014).  ‘Digital identity’ has been described as being information about a person which is cast across the internet. This identity can include material a person has posted about themselves and material others have posted about them (Williams, et al. 2010). In the past it was harder to have an ‘identity’ as little information was recorded about people, and any that was would be difficult to find. However, nowadays, most information about people is online and it is pretty easy to find. This blog post will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of having a digital identity.

Having a digital identity could help or hinder your chances of employability. One advantage to having a digital identity is being able to build an online profile which could help to attract potential employers. It is highly likely that employers will search your name online, in order to find out as much information about you as possible, before continuing your application (Jobs IF, 2014). One website which is useful in building your online identity, in a professional way, is LinkedIn. This site has been described as being like an online CV where you can describe your skills and abilities which would be attractive to employers. Hence, when employers look you up online they will find a site full of positive information about you. Therefore, building a professional digital identity can prove to employers you have a good reputation and are a suitable candidate for the job.

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Figure 1: LinkedIn Office.

On the other hand, some people may not be aware that employers will search their name and may have information online which would instantly turn employers away – a disadvantage of digital identity. For example, posting a drunken picture of you from a night out is projecting a negative image which is not what employers want to see. I have been told by my manager at work not to post any information or complaints about my job online for others to see as it could harm my role in the company.  Therefore, digital identity can have advantages of helping you to get a job but can also prove to be negative if you have unsuitable material online. In my opinion, I think this part of digital identity can be used effectively as long as you monitor what information you make available to everyone.

A second advantage of having a digital identity is the chance of being reunited with a long lost family member or friend. It has been highlighted, in this case, that it is beneficial to share some information online and finding old friends is just one of these benefits. For example, in 2010, 40% of internet users said they had been contacted by someone from their past which has risen from 20% in 2006 (Madden & Smith, 2010). Personally, social networking sites, such as Facebook, have allowed me to find and keep in contact with my cousins who live in England, which also lets me see my little cousin grow up through images and videos.

However, having a broad digital identity – through sharing too much information online – also has its disadvantages. Online, many people give away information that they would not do in day-to-day life. For example, if a stranger approached you in the street and asked for your mobile number, your instant answer would be no, whereas, many of us share this data online for everyone to see. Giving away too much data about ourselves can help criminals to commit online crimes such as identity theft – using your name and information to bully and harass others on the net (Digital-Identity, 2013). Therefore, in order to keep this information slightly safer, I would suggest carefully considering what data you want others to see and also making your profiles private so only certain people can view them. *1

Overall, it is clear that having a digital identity has both advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, it is up to the person themselves to decide what they put online and this, in turn, will develop their digital identity.  *2

*1 Information about keeping your digital identity safe: http://www.eliminatechaos.com/resources/business-diy-information/348-protecting-your-digital-identity.html

*2 A video explaining the points in this blog in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5QwOco3amY

References:

Digital-Identity. (2013). Disadvantages of Digital Identity. SlideShare. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Digital-identity/disadvantages-of-digital-identity

Madden, M. & Smith, A. (2010). Reputation Management and Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media/

Scholzen, B. (2012). LinkedIn Office. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/dasprid/8148014478/

The eBusiness Guide. (2014). Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites. Retrieved from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites

Williams, S. A., Fleming, S. C., Lundqvist, K. O., & Parslow, P. N. (2010). Understanding your digital identity. Learning Exchange, 1(1). Retrieved from http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/17011

Youth Advisory Board. (2012). Social Networking: The Digital Identity. Retrieved from http://youthadvisoryboard.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/social-networking-the-digital-identity/