26th Mar 2021
Have you ever searched for someone online? A potential date, an ex, a friend, a colleague? When you did, what did you find? If you found a profile, even if that profile was locked right down on privacy settings, the chances are you were satisfied you had located the person and that they existed. And in the case of a potential date for example, you may feel satisfied they were who they said they were.
But…. What if you couldn’t find any trace of them at all? How would you feel? Would you immediately give up? Or would you dig a little deeper? Would you scroll to the next page on google and start perusing the images tab in order to feed the need to prove to yourself they exist. Because after all who doesn’t exist on social media?
The issue for the subject in this instance however is that the increased searching may well lead you to other places to locate them. Places where the subject doesn’t have control of the information. As a result, it may lead you to locating information, or photos, that they may not like or may wish you hadn’t found. Information you may well wouldn’t have found had you been able to reassure yourself sooner, and in an easier fashion, that they existed. That they had a ‘digital footprint’.
How then can we ensure that should we ever be the subject, that we are in as much control as possible over what people find out about us online? By ensuring we leave enough of a digital footprint for people to find that it leaves them feeling secure they have found us. A simple and basic closed down profile can be enough to reassure people we are whom we say we are. Charity page links, volunteering or motivational or positive affirmations. Enough to show people we exist in the world without telling them too much about ourselves.
The most private of people can post daily on their social media and give very little away about themselves. We need to ensure that we feed people’s curiosity enough to let them see what we want them to see. The internet and social media are a great gift and a fantastic way to sell ourselves – if we use it correctly. Rarely is there an instance where we don’t exist at all online because of all the numerous ways companies and news outlets use our data. We exist on the profiles of our friends, in their photos, in their stories, but we have no control over that content. So make the content YOU want people to see about you easy to locate.
Create a digital footprint to be proud of. Positive, kind and full of energy and optimism.
Take control of your legacy today. The power is quite literally in your fingertips….. and your keyboard.
Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer
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