Ignoring your digital footprint can ruin your life

No matter how much you scrub the internet of some of the questionable things you post or engage with, there are still pieces of it that are going to remain in cyberspace forever. | Heidi Cuevas, PantherNOW

Kailey Krantz | Staff Writer

Whether it’s a like or a comment, there is a footprint being left behind and once it’s out there on the internet, it’s out there forever. We need to be more conscious of the kind of digital trail we’re leaving if we’re going to be successful in our professional lives.

A digital footprint is an online record of all of our interactions on social media. This can include what you post, what posts you like and what comments you leave on someone’s post. 

We use social media to show our followers who we are as a person, what we like and dislike, what our political views are and how we respond to different global and domestic events – but that isn’t always the best choice. 

It can be hard to monitor every single interaction we’ve had on social media, but outright neglecting our digital footprint can prove to be dangerous to our careers. In this digital age, it’s no wonder our posts can lower the chances of being hired and ruin our credibility as a potential employee. 

Using your digital platform to harass or antagonize anyone on the internet is one of the worst ways to tarnish your digital footprint and can quickly come back and haunt you when you least expect it. 

Companies and other positions across the job market can look into your social media to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the job. Ranging from LinkedIn, Facebook or X profiles, what we post makes all the difference in how we’re perceived. 

If a company were to find you have liked or engaged with questionable or harmful content, they can quickly begin to question your position in the company. 

It is vital now more than ever to be cautious of our digital footprints because the most dangerous thing about them is they’re never going to go away. 

Even if you delete your posts or make an apology post responding to some of the questionable content you’ve interacted with, it’s still not going to erase what’s already been done in the past.

No matter how much you scrub the internet of some of the questionable things you post or engage with, there are still pieces of it that are going to remain in cyberspace forever.

It is so common and so easy to mess up your digital footprint because social media can compel you to have a reactionary response. Posts with flashy headlines and thumbnails are intended to make people want to engage with them before knowing the full context behind it. 

We have developed the habit of liking any post that comes across our feed that we don’t realize what the post actually was – don’t fall into this trap.

There are ways to be conscious of your digital footprint. One way is by practicing and learning about net literacy. Recognizing the difference between fact and fiction on the internet can help you make an informed decision before reacting to a post off the cuff. 

Despite these precautions being all over the internet, there’s still a chance these words of advice can fall through the cracks and mess with your digital footprint. 

Even though students can refer to FIU’s forum on Academic Integrity and read about their tips on netiquette, it is our responsibility to take control of our digital appearance. 

Don’t poison your digital footprint for social media attention. Keep your digital footprint positive by monitoring what tracks you leave behind on the digital highway. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community. 

Be the first to comment on "Ignoring your digital footprint can ruin your life"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.