So much fuss lately about our carbon footprints, but what about the digital footprints we leave. Think about this for a second … a great deal of what we do now appears online? I started thinking deeper about the implications of digital footprints earlier when I posted a piece from DailyBlogTips … titled "Put Honesty and Integrity Above Everything Else to Sphinn.
Consider for a second … I, or anyone for that matter, can tell a great deal about you from your digital footprints. If not careful, it might be possible to tell:
- where you've been
- where you are
- who you know
- where you work
- what your hobbies are
- what you think about certain issues
- and much more. In many cases, I can even tell what you look like. And the amount of information available about you is only going to grow.
Some of these footprints you choose to leave via blogs, forums, and so forth. Others however, you leave unintentionally (which I'll call toe-prints … from walking on your tippy-toes). This is kinda scary … much of it will remain online indefinitely.
To me, the scariest kind of footprints are the toe-prints. With the proliferation of mobile devices, and other information capturing equipment, we'll most certainly be faced with challenges we could not have comprehended only a few mere years ago. Our kids will have it even worse.
All this information, the footprints you choose to leave, and the toe-prints left unintentionally, conspire to tell a great deal about you as an individual.
But the ramifications are in fact even much deeper. HR departments, including our own, are using search engines and social media to research potential candidates. We're looking to:
a) validate what your actual resume said
b) learn more about you … in a non office environment
In effect, every job seeker of the future will be not unlike a political candidate. Hopefully their closets are squeaky clean, and if not, devise strategies to address it. At the same time, lack of footprint online is not good either … especially in the internet space.
So in conclusion, just be very careful to leave a clean footprint. Dust away to toe-prints where possible. And make sure the footprint matches your size.
I think I'm gonna get into the name change business. I'm pretty sure there will be a big boon in business for quite a number of years to come!