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Blog #1-REFLECTIONS ON THE DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS

September 5, 2013

In class we were all introduced to the scary concept of the digital footprint.  It is absolutely terrifying, yet oddly intriguing to see how everything is linked together. Any item that has been keyed into the URL is going to become tracked by other companies and used for their own use. With all of the digital media it is hard not to be traced and held accountable for your actions. When our parents were younger, they didn’t have to worry about all of their information being tracked because they usually used analog media. Everything today is constantly being followed allowing us to lose more and more privacy. Companies are using analytics to gather data and watch the meaningful patterns created by those who are browsing. This allows them to see what is being searched for and keep an eye out on what people are browsing for.

Over time all of the metadata gathered will allow one to sum up your life. It is absolutely insane how closely people are being watched when it comes to online usage. The only thing we don’t share is our social security number, but I’m sure the computer could figure that out as well. It is crazy how much things have changed with the internet over the span of 5 or so years. I feel as if we are all becoming tangled in the webs of the internet. Social media sites have allowed everyone to become more involved, but at what cost? On Facebook and Twitter, men and women are constantly sharing their life stories and information about themselves. People don’t realize that with these sites advertisers are looking at the things you share, like, and follow so that they can benefit and try to get their advertising to your page.

Once you have entered information, uploaded/shared a photo, liked an item, created an event, and/or given any input on a social network, your information will forever be there. Twenty years from now, my children will be able to look me up when I was in high school and see picture of me and even read the comments I may have said, and that is a scary thought. I have never been on to put bad things on the internet, but knowing that my information will always be there does frighten me. Just like in the article we read in class, the woman started receiving information about a disease she didn’t even have. Advertising has definitely become harder over the years, but people back in the day had to deal with it and find ways to advertise, why is it so hard for this generation to do the same? Everyone is entitled to privacy, but lately I don’t think anyone feels like they aren’t being monitored when it comes to using the web.

If I am searching the web for something and stumble across an article, I like being able to use the hyperlinks and the anchor texts which allow me to jump all over the web. This is also a great way for advertisers to work their magic because it takes the web browser to an unknown site. Overall I feel as if the internet is going to continue to become more and more monitored as time goes on. There should definitely be a new rule that allows the person to be notified when they are being tracked, monitored and etc. This would give people a more comfortable take on the internet and at least they would have the ability to decide their privacy settings.

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