Open education but closed personal profile..

In my last post, I reflected about what I have recently learned about open education.  I believe in the benefits of open education for both students and teachers. I hope one day soon I can contribute to some of the resources I have created to some sort of open education outlet.

Last week we discussed open education and this week we are focused on reputations and monitoring our online identities.   This week’s reading “Reputation Management and Social Media” and “What your new years facebook posts really mean”, got me thinking about my own online identity. As I have mentioned before, I do not post a  lot on social media.  I believe this is partly because of my profession and that I do not want want students and their families finding me on facebook and knowing every detail of my personal life. I also think my lack of posting on social media outlets has to do with my belief that if I want my friends and family to know something, I will tell them individually instead of posting it online.    Although I do not post on facebook frequently, I really have nothing to hide.  If I had to, I would be comfortable with my students parents seeing my profile and pictures.  It is, of course, a completely G rated, positive page full of great memories with my family and friends.

I understand that facebook and Instagram are “private” and only assessable to my friends, but I know that at anytime a friend of a friend could show my profile.  Through blogging, twitter, facebook, instagram and other places I appear on the web (school division website and local news) I am creating my digital footprint, or as Luke Braun explained, more like a digital tattoo.

Bonnie Stewart from the Theory Blog discusses what might happen in 1000 years when people are trying to research our generation.  We are no longer writing our stories in stone of course, but many of us do not even bother to print photos and keep record of our lives off line.

In the past few years, while going through both of my grandmothers things after they passed away I caught myself in awe with the rich stories and photos they both kept.  Although they are both gone, their legacy lives on through their diaries and extensive photo albums that they both kept. During these times I thought to myself and my family, when I pass away what will my family members go through? How will my story continue to be told and remember?  I am guilty of not printing any pictures of my trips and day to day life in the last four years!  personal and professional overlap

Bonnie Stewart states that “…. a thousand years hence, should archaeologists or aliens dig up the remnants of bourgeois North American “civilization,” such as it is, they will be sorely challenged to understand a damn thing about who we were and how we lived without our Facebook feeds”    If all I have when I am gone is my facebook feed and instagram posts then my future family will not get to see my full self!

Madden and Smith’s research shows that I am not alone in wanting to keep my social media sites private. Their research found that 44% of young adult internet users are limiting the amount of personal information they post online and 71% of adults aged 18-29 change their privacy settings online to limit their audience (Madden & Smith, 2010).

Here I am exciting and very much for open education, yet I do not share very opening in my personal social media accounts. Then I am also worried about not leaving enough of a digital tattoo behind (both professional and personal)!

I may sound crazy and may be contradicting myself but is anyone else out there identifying with similar struggles?


2 thoughts on “Open education but closed personal profile..

  1. Interesting perspective Danielle! I never really thought about it from that view. Perhaps that is a good reason to post to your private social media sites or maybe there is another alternative? I know some people start email accounts for the babies when they are first born and email them regularly to document. Maybe this could be an option? Or maybe old school printing photographs? I am not sure. Definitely something I will be thinking about now as I look to the future!


  2. Interesting perspective! I haven’t thought much about this but you’ve peeked my interest. I have a friend who has created an instagram account for his daughter, who is now 2. It started right from the first few days of her life when she was in the NICU and her parents post on it, pretty much daily, from “her” perspective. I really enjoy following her page and think it will be really neat for her to look back on as she gets older and someday potentially takes over the page. But I suppose instagram will be old-news by then!


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