Digital Footprint

Written by Jo Langford, M.A.

When you interact through screens, think through the consequences of your actions, understand the impact of your behavior on others, and behave appropriately, responsibly, and safely so as to protect your reputation, your partners, friends, family, and yourself. Be a value-add on the internet, rather than contributing to the noise and negativity. Read below to learn some important tips and tools to help you stay in charge of your digital footprint.

Social Media
  • Anytime you hit “send” it provides someone, somewhere a record of your behavior that is no longer in your control. Assume that anything you share on social media can be shared with everyone including teachers, grandparents, police, or classmates.
  • Use privacy settings to control and manage your updates and your audience to increase your freedom around being your authentic self online. Click BLOOM’s Safety & Privacy page to find out how.
  • Even with the best privacy settings, your posts may be seen by people who don’t ask, need, or want to see them.
  • Think before you post and consider your intentions. What we put online doesn’t go away. It stays with us and can leave a lasting image of who we are…even if we don’t see ourselves that way anymore. Create a positive digital footprint that represents the “real” you!
Screen Time
  • Do not compromise your values or reputation just because you are online.
  • When (not if) you screw up, correct your mistakes to maintain the integrity of the sites and platforms you use as well as yourself.
  • Keep your feeds and interactions positive: no hate speech, phobic remarks, misogyny, rape “jokes,” or threats.
  • Let your content speak for itself and do not rely on being silly, scandalous, or foolish to gain followers or likes.
Gaming
  • You are never as anonymous as you think you are; what you say today can come back to haunt you, weeks, months, or years later.
  • Be respectful of stated rules, and always follow the terms of use for the social platforms, sites, and games you use.
  • Don’t forget that actual human beings read the words you post/text/send, and remember that your computer does not give you free reign to be cruel or rude to anyone.