Digital identity close to home
8th grade students examined two stories of digital identity occurring this week in Washington state:
Story 1: Two tweens charged with cyberstalking in Facebook incident
An 11-year old and 12-year old are accused of using an ex-friend’s Facebook account to post mean and sexual images and messages. This is a clear instance of posing, which we’ve previously studied as a form of cyberbullying. The 12-year-old student went before a judge today and pled not guilty.
Story 2: A superstar teen loses chance to be featured by the Seattle Times because of distateful tweets
A Seattle journalist was writing an article about a teen who is heading to college after beating the odds and moving to the US from a refugee camp. As part of his research, he took a look at the teen’s Twitter account, which contained lewd language and drug related posts. As a direct result of the tweets, the journalist has decided not to write the story.
8th graders spent time debating the conflict between the teen’s positive actions and negative digital identity. Which is a more accurate depiction of the teen? Do we all have negative aspects of our life that aren’t meant to be recorded forever? What are healthy ways to explore identity without putting everything online?