It is finals week here at my institution. With it comes an increased amount of stress to the point you begin to crack and find ways to entertain and release the built up stress. For my fraternity brothers and their friends, it became a very funny game I am going to call "Homemade Time-Hopping"
Time-Hop is the app that goes back through the dark depths of your social media account and brings a post to you to share, often on a Throwback Thursday. Homemade Time-Hopping consists of going to a friend's Facebook wall, finding a post or a photo, then commenting or liking it to reactivate it and be shared among your mutual friends' newsfeed.
What started as a playful game among 5 has now swept through the student leadership as most of our student leaders are connected on Facebook. It also means some of my posts from a less wise time in my life have resurfaced as those who I have advised and mentored play this wonderful game. It also means I get to take part in helping relieve some of that finals week stress with my own quirky remarks on someone's past.
It truly is all fun and games and has created a lot of laughter the last 3 days, but there is a deeper lesson. In What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube by Erik Qualman, Erik talks about your digital footprints and shadows. Digital footprints being the content you share while shadows are the things said about you. You do not have to support or be active online to have a presence because of the shadows others make for you. For all my friends having and raising children, think of the shadows you are creating for your child before they can even type, let alone speak.
In this fun and loving game, we are going back and rediscovering the footprints we made only 3-6 years ago. I casually went through my own feed to see what my students would find. While I am not ashamed of anything I have posted, there were some (later a victim to the homemade time-hop) that made me say, "I really said/thought/did this?"
It is always important to be mindful of what you say. It is never more important to be mindful of what you say online because you are providing textual evidence that can resurface at literally any point in time.
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Sidebar, this homemade time-hopping game is funny. If you are looking for a way to reconnect with some friends you haven't talked to in a while, I highly recommend. Please resurface posts responsibly.