The Digital Footprint

Your modern tarot card of life


Suzanne Parker

Remember that photo that was posted online? The one with the beer you held securely in your hands the Juul between your lips? Now imagine 10 years later, that picture resurfacing as you walk into an interview for your dream job that you have prepared so hard for. You didn’t get the job — because at that moment in time you are once again that 16 year old kid taking pictures of the party you had a blast at. That is now forever linked to something that is called ‘The Digital Footprint.” 

What is a Digital Footprint? It isn’t something that is physical or easy to erase. Your Digital Footprint follows you throughout your life and everywhere you go, and one wrong mistake, it could end the life of someone before it even has begun. In an article written by Internet Society, it states;  “Some websites will build a list of different devices you have used to visit those sites. While this can often be used as a way to help secure your account, it is important to understand the information being collected about your habits.” 

The footprint doesn’t just collect data on a website that was visited, it collects the entire life of a person. For example; Antony Fani mentions; “College admissions officers can and do read your teen’s online profile. If your son or daughter is applying to college and is on the bubble against another applicant, the difference between them gaining acceptance, and receiving a rejection letter could be something immature that was posted on social media. This extends to moral aptitude requirements in the military if your child is planning on enlisting.” Now a teenager who plays sports and wants to play at a higher level doesn’t only have colleges and the military to worry about when it comes to checking their digital footprint. “Recruiters and coaches surely will want to know about your teen’s conduct on social media,” Fani states. 

Your Digital Footprint controls the future of every individual in today’s digital world. One wrong move can destroy the dreams of someone who worked so hard to achieve them. The Digital Footprint doesn’t care that the nudes or inappropriate photos were sent years ago, no, all it cares about is showing who you are as a person even if it means digging into the darkest secret of someone. 

The Digital Footprint isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and it certainly isn’t something to mess around with. But remember, the next photo that is posted could determine the outcome of your future and it only takes three seconds to ruin it all. So, is it worth it?