Since I am not currently teaching a class, my English Teacher friend agreed to ask his class to take the MOOC’s short survey on their digital footprints. All of the students were either 15 or 16 and ten of the students self-identify as he, 6 as she. Overall, the results weren’t shocking, but a few things did stand out more than others.
The first point that really stood out was the age at which they first joined a social network. 14 of the 16 students joined their first social network before they reached 13.
The second point that stood out was that 15 of the 16 students use both Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, I knew that students are leaving Facebook, but this was more than I thought. The same trend is looking like it is happening to Twitter, and in this group, just under half use Twitter. I should have added Spotify on the list, I’m guessing many would have said yes to that one.
I was also surprised at the mixed results on how many students send photos of themselves, or don’t, on a regular basis.
With all of the above, the biggest surprise, or perhaps better stated: disappointment, for me was that not all of the parents have talked with their children about internet safety.
I know my husband and I are hawkish about protecting our little guy’s image and digital footprint, but we will also be talking to him about being safe online, not just ensuring physical safety where possible, but thinking from the start about one’s personal digital footprint.