Let’s Start Investigating
This week we were challenged to cybersleuth one of our classmates and then write about what we found out. This week I am going to put on my investigator hat and take a deep dive into Klair Karmazinuk‘s digital identity.
Let’s start with a simple Google search. When I typed “Klair Karmazinuk Regina” into the Google search bar, the first photo that came up was Klair’s profile picture from Twitter.
Klair’s Twitter profile is very professional and appropriate. You can tell that she put a lot of effort into creating a digital identity on Twitter that represents who she is as a future educator. From Twitter you discover that Klair is a pre-service secondary teacher, goes to school at the University of Regina, and promotes educational technology and connections with other educators. You also find out that she was born on June 29th and joined Twitter in May 2019. From here, you are provided a link that leads to her WordPress account.
From her blog you can see that she is sending a professional message and using her digital identity to show who she is as a person. I think that Klair has done a lovely job of organizing her blog and showing who she will be as a future teacher.
Now, people are able to have different identities on social media. Just as Nicole Lee states, “different social accounts reflect different parts of her persona”. So let’s see what goes beyond these two professional social media sources. Continuing to dig deeper, I found Klair on Facebook.
Klair and I had one mutual friend, which allowed me to see pictures from her past in relation to the mutual friend. Additionally, I found out from her posts on Facebook that she started a job at Save on Foods in 2018, she identifies as a female, she enjoys country music, and she lives in Regina. From her About page on Facebook I discovered that she enjoys the novels The Fault in Our Stars, 13 Reasons Why, and Looking for Alaska. In terms of music, she enjoys Trigger Band, Tequila Mockingbird, BILF, Hobo Johnson, Revival Music Room, and Lady Gaga. I am assuming that this information is out of date because she is not very active on Facebook.
Moving away from Facebook, the simple Google search also revealed that she went to school in Weyburn.
Klair seemed to be involved in a Weyburn weekly newspaper, and was actively involved in the Weyburn Comprehensive School Newsletter. Based on her activity involving Weyburn, I am assuming that this is her home town.
The Google search also pulled up a Prezi presentation about Klair’s mother, her family, school, growing up on a farm, her accomplishments and her travels.
The last information I was able to dig up about Klair was from her Instagram account. Here is her main page:
From Instagram I discovered that she likes plants, travelling, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Every post was very appropriate and pleasant!
Overall, Klair is a great example of understanding what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to post online. Besides a few silly photos from the past, all photos are professional, appropriate, pleasant, and portray a welcoming and warm individual!
What does this mean as a future educator?
I think that educators have the responsibility to teach students early on about how their online identity is a permanent record. We cannot fear talking about social media use in the classroom. We have the professional responsibility to teach students about the weight of social media, how nothing is truly private, and how you represent yourself online can directly impact your offline life. These two worlds, namely, the online and offline world, are intertwined and cannot truly be separated.
This challenge taught me a few lessons. One being that social media does not show the whole story. People are able to have multiple social media accounts and diverse online identities. Nicole Lee so nicely put that “[p]eople have diverse, rich lives that aren’t contained within a single idea and personae”. Furthermore, social media can conceal what is actually happening in the “offline” life. People are able to filter how they represent themselves on social media, like Madison Holleran did on Instagram. Madison’s Instagram feed gave the impression of a happy, smart college student. However, her Instagram feed did not reflect the depression she was experiencing. Using social media to build a professional digital identity is very important; however, we have to remember that there are different versions of people behind that tweet, post, message, or profile. Social media does not share the whole story.
I also discovered that it is very easy for people to access the things that you post, whether you want them to or not. If you have a negative or inappropriate post, it is very easy for someone to get their hands on it. Once you post something onto the internet, it can never truly be deleted. Which leads into my next point: the best plan to move away from and mitigate any false, misconstrued, and negative posts is to overload social media with a professional digital identity. As Monica Lewinsky discusses during a Ted Talk, one inappropriate move online can cause global public shaming, loss of privacy, and the loss of your personal reputation and identity. Educators should teach students about the weight of social media, alongside the benefits, in order to prevent negative actions online. However, it is unrealistic to think that no one will ever post, retweet, or share something that is inappropriate or that they will regret later in life. We need to teach students to recognize their mistake, learn from them, and actively work to grow and improve. Building this identity is essential if you want to have control over your online representation.
I am actively working to build a professional online identity as a future educator. I want to be able to model being a respectful and appropriate online digital citizen.
What kind of message is your social media sending? What steps are you taking to build a strong digital identity?