Digital Tattoo

While our footprint is the impact we have left behind, we also are marked by all the digital exposure. Digital Tattoos are the imprints or permanent marks left on you through exposure to technology and the Internet, rather than the Digital Footprints you leave in the web.

We have been able to google our names for years and get a snapshot of our Digital Footprint. We need to change our focus to how the web is leaving marks in our physical, virtual, personal and professional pysches.

Physical – Personal
– Growing up with emerging and often not reliable technology forced me to be a problem solver
– Empowered as a Do It Yourself er, YouTube has empowered people to unlocking an iPhone and installing a light fixture
– Ordering replacement parts online rather than the local department/hardware store
– Time pressure to keep up with digital expectations such as unanswered emails
– More willing to challenge what I read as factual.

Physical – Professional
– Business Cards with QR Codes
– Searching for answers often turns to a virtual source instead of a book or person
– Increased workload with sending / receiving up to 100 emails per day
– Exposure to unwanted, inappropriate images that would not be in my physical environments
– Increase expectation to contribute to virtual community in addition to physical.
– Already having a virtual relationship with people when I first meet them F2F

Virtual – Personal
– Greater connections with people we know
Example – Keeping in touch with high school friends through Facebook
– Connection to people around the globe
– Large bargain hunting opportunities through ebay and sites like
– Research service providers such as furnace repair instead of randomly from phone book
– Been exposed to pornography – I had to follow and print inappropriate sites students were accessing

– Flat Professional Learning network to people world wide (over 1000 twitter followers – we are all equal on twitter)
– Immediate access to online resources, decreases response time to assist others
– Published author – many wikis, websites, blogs that I created
– Virtual Community member – easy to join, contribute and benefit
– High connectedness with niche professionals of common interests

My wife and I joking discuss that we would love to go into the back woods and homestead. To truly homestead would also be going off the grid; however, I believe I have learned enough that I could be successful and if I was unsure of something, I can learn it before going off.

I wanted to highlight the benefits and consequences of being tattooed, but as with a tattoo, that is a personal experience. Instead here are a couple of questions to help you decide the impact of your tattoos:

What kinds of things do you naturally do online?
What kinds of things do you avoid online?
How have negative experiences, or exposures impacted you?
Are you comfortable with your online presence, privacy, footprints

Digital Footprints – Accessed February 5, 2013
Thank you to the 4 anonymous contributors when I started this as a Google Doc.

AVG Survey of 2200 mothers of children under 2

Managing your Risks

NetSmartz – Revealing too much

Kaspersky – Cyber Identity Crime –

A Sincere Compliment – WestHigh –

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