Digital footprints

I’ve blogged about thoughtful use of social media before – most recently in the October 2012 post In Cyberspace Not Everyone ‘Likes’ You  – however a spate of recent stories caught my eye.

 

Black Eyed Peas anyone?

Black Eyed Peas anyone? (Photo credit: Twitchietai)

First, there is the revelation that seemingly innocuous ‘Likes’ on Facebook can reveal much more personal detail than users imagine.  According to a Cambridge University  study, quoted in the press, important facets of one’s personality such as social standing; religious identity; even sexual orientation are – supposedly – discernible from what users say on the platform.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/like-curly-fries-youre-clever-like-motorbikes-youre-not-the-science-of-facebook-likes-8530101.html

 

Then there is the sobering thought that if you get into a virtual feud with someone on Twitter they may very well track you down, for a very real confrontation.  If in doubt look at what boxer Curtis Woodhouse did to confront the critic who mocked him on line.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/mar/12/english-boxer-curtis-woodhouse-twitter-troll

 

Finally, there is recognition that young people are savvy consumers of new media but are not necessarily skilled in producing it.  Former Black Eyed Peas vocalist Will.i.am has donated £500,000 of his own money to the Prince’s Trust to support the development of young people’s knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM subjects) where skills are lacking.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21747206

 

Unless we choose not to have a digital presence, these stories indicate we should carefully decide just how we manage our online life.  They also nudge us to develop our relationship to new media / technology so that we keep up to date as they grows in influence.

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