This week, students in DCI 180 were tasked with “stalking” our professor online to the best of our ability. This entailed googling or using any other means to know her social media presence as well as we could, and in turn get a better grip on her entire life. From a basic google search we can find several things like her current employment description from W&L, her LinkedIn, her DCI website, and of course her Twitter. I also dug into some deeper google pages and found a Flickr and some people who referenced her as their aid in some reports and books. From these pages I can find a scary amount of information. I now know Professor Abdoney’s educational and work history, for instance she attended U of F then University of South Florida. She then moved on to work at Eckerd before moving to work at Washington and Lee. From her twitter I can find a lot about her opinions on various aspects of life, especially her political views. Professor Abdoney tends to enjoy satire humor making light of the dramatic events occurring within the Republican party and during the Trump presidency. She also enjoys using twitter and social media for getting information from colleagues and other academic sources that apply to her professional life. For instance, the other day in class she mentioned that she used Facebook to discover a new conference that she wanted to attend. Finally I can find some information about her personal life on Flickr, like pictures of her husband, children, and her garden.
All of this information tells me plenty about how Professor Abdoney chooses to mold her online presence through filter bubbles. Professor Abdoney obviously has no issue sharing her professional information, most of the links on a google search directed me to something related to her professional life. She does however, keep her personal life pretty sheltered. While I could find some images on Flickr, I couldn’t find her Facebook page or and Instagram page. This activity made me think about several things, first being my own online presence. When I do a google search on myself, I don’t love everything that shows up. The worst part is that a lot of it is out of my control. This activity also made me think about some of the recent readings, particularly the reading that related the data we can find online to power. Once I find information about someone online, its possible to have some sort of power over someone. Information online gives a ton of power, and could influence something as serious as a college admission or a job opportunity. This activity also relates to the reading about branding online, everything we put online counts towards a brand we are building for ourselves. Even if we are different than the person and brand we build online, that rarely matters.