One day, I found a MySpace page that was filled with inanimate object friends such as “powdered banana”, “Rubik’s cube”, and “Mac and Cheese on a Stick”. I thought this was so cool that I created my own page in its likeness and named it “The Andrea Kulikowski Fan Club”. I used a picture of Daphne from “Scooby-Doo” as my profile picture and proceeded to add as many inanimate objects as I could as friends. Usually, I could just delete this profile. However, I have forgotten the password and email address that I used to create it, and so it lingers on as my first Google search result—making me look like a high school student with too much time on her hands—instead of a doctor looking for a serious university career as a professor.
Another unfortunate “Internet Incident” for me happened eleven years ago when I was a freshman at MSU. In an introductory computer course, I created a webpage for a final project. The web page itself was extremely elementary and has actually caused others to laugh out loud when viewing it recently (even though it did earn me a 4.0 back in the '90s). So when someone looks me up through MSU’s directory—which anyone hiring me for a university career would do—they will see a series of simple web pages with silly .gif images, horrendous color combinations, and no dates to prove that I created them long ago—not yesterday. When I eliminate all of my other information from public view on MSU’s People Finder, the link to my “preschool level web page” still sits there mocking me like a gigantic sore thumb.
I tend to agree with the more liberal opinion of danah boyd when she states that, "Over time, foolish digital pasts will simply become part of the cultural fabric". However, I think there needs to be a heavy emphasis on the "over time" part at the beginning of the statement because this is certainly not the viewpoint held by most digital immigrants.
This is why it is so important today to protect your digital presence by eliminating "junk" info on social networking sites such as questionable photos and opinionated statements that can be taken the wrong way by future potential employers. I am excited to gain more experience in my field as a Graduate/Doctoral student so I feel compelled to blog about experiences that will impress potential employers with my recent learning—not old stuff.