Web Presence

What is it?

Our web presence is the online portrait that you have created to share yourself with the world. This includes your website, your social media profiles and other domains in which you choose to be actively involved in. An individual can use their web presence as a way to promote themselves in the public realm. According to Schawbel (2011) each year more and more recruiters are looking online to find qualified applicant and to conduct background research. With this in mind it is important that we understand how to manage our own web presence and that we help our students understand how to manage theirs as well.

Digital Footprint

Our digital footprint is a more intimate look into our lives. It is a history of our daily online activities. In chapter 10 of Social Media for Academics by Lynne Y. Williams, we learn that our digital footprint tracks our movements of our entire day. It begins when we turn the TV on and the shows we watch are logged by the cable company to every website we visit.  Even our phones are collecting informations about who we call and where we travel. This is why when we shop for new tires for our cars we suddenly starting seeing ads for tires on our facebook page. In the video Four reasons to care about your digital footprint it reminds us that our reputations can be influenced by our activities online. It isn’t just our reputations that can be affected, our habits can also impact how we are viewed. They also gave the example of an individual whose credit limit was lowered based on the repayment history of other people that typically shopped at places he shopped at.

Personal Reflections

I have always been hesitant to have any kind of web presence. I don’t like the idea of people being able to find me, where I am or what I am doing.  However, I am learning the important role it can play. If done correctly and maintained, I believe that it can be a valuable asset to anyone. Even so I am extremely cautious about the information I post. As a educator I always take to heart something I heard at a staff meeting when I worked at a daycare. That was that “what we do outside work influences how parents see us.”  I take this very literal and even on my social media accounts I only post things I would be comfortable with the parents of my students seeing. I do not have parents on any of my social media accounts, even the ones I have become friends with after their kids have left my classroom.  I believe it can be challenging to keep a separate work and personal life, especially when you become friends with the people you work with and you are on each others social media pages. The line has the potential to become hazy, because your work life has the possibility of seeping into your personal life as topics come up, that you normally wouldn’t share outside the workplace. For example I follow MSEA (Matanuska Ed. Association)  on facebook because that is where all our updates are, however now it is that is really the only reason I visit. So it is no longer a place that I go to see what my family is up to, it is about work. Even though I don’t check into facebook often, it is a topic of contention at work, because there are those who do regularly check in and post and this has become a problem with the administration. They have a taken an aggressive stance on employees discussing issues on this platform, which is restricted to MSEA members only.  On the flip side of this I have managed to keep my twitter mostly to”business.”  I follow one cousin and a few random topics, but I am finding that more and more the things I follow are education related. So as time progresses I am starting to believe that it is very possible to keep them separate if you are deliberate about it. I think it may be “best to have both a personal and professional account if you are looking to truly keep these aspects of your life separate.


Williams, L. Y. (2012). Who is the ‘virtual’ you and do you know who’s watching you? In Social Media for Academics (pp. 175-192).

[Internet Society]. (2016, Jan 12). Four reasons to care about your digital footprint. [Video File, 8:00.] Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Ro_LlRg8rGg

Schawbel, D. (2011, Feb 21). Five reasons why your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/#6ed5413c6069 

3 thoughts on “Web Presence”

  1. Melissa, I am curious what recommendations you might have for educators and what a an educator should do to set an example of a careful and conscientious approach to one’s digital footprint and web presence.

  2. I like how you compared web presence and digital footprint. Especially when you said, “Our digital footprint is a more intimate look into our lives.” I never really gave it a second thought, but like you said, our photos are collecting information! My phone categorizes my photos by topic, time, location, and people in the photo.

    I agree that the line can become hazy. I personally have families on my Facebook because I relay information via Facebook sometimes (I am not in a traditional classroom, which is why I can use that platform). What I have discovered is that by making that choice, Facebook has become work more than social media. I tend to turn to Instagram as my preferred networking site.

  3. I think our web presence and digital footprint will evolve by definition. One of my favorite writers is James Clear who does a weekly newsletter (available at https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1/refer?rh_ref=ba4aa23c)

    One of his recent sharings included this thought:

    Writer and entrepreneur Kevin Kelly on making life count:

    “I am now 55 years old. Like a lot of people in middle age my late-night thoughts bend to contemplations about how short my remaining time is. Even with increasing longevity there is not enough time to do all that I want. Nowhere close. My friend Stewart Brand, who is now 69, has been arranging his life in blocks of 5 years. Five years is what he says any project worth doing will take. From moment of inception to the last good-riddance, a book, a campaign, a new job, a start-up will take 5 years to play through. So, he asks himself, how many 5 years do I have left? He can count them on one hand even if he is lucky. So this clarifies his choices. If he has less than 5 big things he can do, what will they be?”

    Source: My Life Countdown

    I am curious as to where my journeys will take me and how my web presence will evolve.

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