It’s probably not very often when a professor encourages you dig up dirt on a fellow classmate. SPOILER ALERT! We had to ask for permission from the person we were about to cybersleuth.
Urban Dictionary (the most respected dictionary of all dictionary’s) defines a cybersleuth as “Security professional who’s primary role is investigations, forensics or detective type work.” So for the remainder of this investigation, you can call me Detective Alicia.
I will be cybersleuthing my fellow classmate Nikki.
The first thing I often do when I want to dig up some information on someone, I google their name. So, that is what I did.
As you and I can see, the first information that pops up is Nikki’s business. A rating of 4.7 out of 5? You go girl! This leads me to think that Nikki’s digital identity is mostly found in doing hair. As I continue to scroll, it provides me with other links to her business media accounts online. One in particular I will share is of her Instagram account.
From both of these screen shots alone, I can already tell you which city Nikki lives in – Moose Jaw. What salon she works at in Moose Jaw – Vanity House Salon, including its address.
Because Nikki is my Facebook friend, it didn’t really take any effort in looking for some information about her through her feed. One thing that stood out to me that I did not know about her before doing this activity, is that she is an amazing baker! Get ready to be impressed.
Some other information I came across was that she is in a long-term relationship with a man named Nathan for over 10 years. She has a famous artist sister named Jamie, whose art you can see around the city, particularly in cathedral. Looks like creativity is a family affair.
To come across all of this information, it only took me a matter of minutes. The only social media accounts that I came across were her Personal and Business Facebook Pages, Instagram and Twitter. The only difference between her Twitter account amongst the others is that it shows more of her Teacher identity.
As I watching the TED video by Ron Jonson, he talks about how Twitter is basically a mutual approval machine, where we surround ourselves with people who feel the same way we do. Just like any other social media, we want people who think the same as us, to like what we have to say, and share it with others. The problem is, what if how we are thinking is harmful to others? Where is the line? Is it subjective? Is it harmful that when we post things on social media, it is usually only from one perspective? In the article about Madison Holleran – she portrayed herself online one way, but internally she felt completely different. I have been guilty of doing this as well.
The way we represent ourselves online is important. It is important to be professional, especially as future educators, but it also just as important to be real. What that looks like for everyone is not the same, but what we do online can contribute to the wellbeing of others, or it can perpetuate harmful expectations.