It is reported that 92% of teens use online resources daily, and 24% of these admit that they use to access online resources constantly (Lenhart, 2015). It is evident that students more than ever are using technology and dependent on it for schoolwork, social activities, and communication. The inability to unplug from technology has been linked to increased stress, anxiety, and depression (Bora, 2016). Students are unable to develop coping skills because they are unable to break away from technology. Rarely students are just completely unplugged, if they have any extra time, they are on their phones, texting, playing games, interacting on social media, or taking videos.
In addition to using online resources daily, students are active on social media. Pew research center has reported that 71% of teens have more than one social media account (Lenhart, 2015). This active use of social media and consistent taking pictures of oneself to post online has led to a me-centered culture (Bora, 2016). Students are now consumed with themselves, which has led to a lack of empathy. This self-absorption mentality reduces the ability for students to be compassionate of others and empathize.
Students now use technology to tell their story through social media, creating videos, and posting pictures. A digital footprint is an online information that exists based on their activity online (Common Sense Education, 2017). In addition to what someone posts, another variable to a person’s digital footprint is what they purchase, or what websites they visit. It is important for students to be aware of their positive or negative digital footprint. When a person is including information on the purpose and has control of the information presented through an online source, this is providing an intentional footprint (Christensson, 2014). In contrast, when a person's information is obtained by website searches or information they do not have control of their content, this is considered to be an unintentional digital footprint.
Students should take time to reflect on possible positive or negative consequences before they post online (Common Sense Education, 2017). Students need to understand that what they post online is most likely permanent and can have an effect on college admissions, reputation, and future jobs. When posting online students should consider staying away from bragging or over posting (Common Sense Education, 2014). It is important to keep the reader in mind when posting online, it is not necessary to post every single part of one’s day for others to view. It is critical to use an Eportfolio as an opportunity to share positive information that you have created. An e-portfolio is an excellent way to show future employers personal accomplishments, creativity, and share work.
Bora, M. (2016). Unselfie. New York City: Touchstone.
Christensson, P. (2014, May 26). Digital Footprint Definition. Retrieved 2018, Mar 5, from https://techterms.com
Common Sense Education. (2017). Digital Footprint and Reputation. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship/digital-footprint-and-reputation
Common Sense Education (2014, September 4). https://www.commonsense.org. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyjd73tUXig
Lenhart, A. (2015). Teen, social media and technology overview 2015. The Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/