Exploring My Digital Footprint

Hi! Welcome to my first blog post for HIST390.

My name is Alexandra Arabak. I am a Global Affairs Major at George Mason University. I am an infrequent writer on Medium.com, and an avid equestrian.

Here, this is me-

Image Courtesy of CountrySpirit Magazine/ Middleburg Photo.

As you can see, horses have consumed the majority of my 23 years of life.

This reflected fairly clearly in my online presence and search engine results.

As pictured in the gallery above, the same handful of images, all equestrian related, appeared across all search platforms.

Similarly, the same links to past employment, social media handles, photoshoot albums and horse show results, and magazine articles I am mentioned or featured in appeared in the search results across all platforms. Again, they were all but one- equestrian related.

Image Courtesy of Middleburg Photo

While horses have weighed a heavy hand… err… hoof.. on my life, I have found enjoyment in other endeavors that didn’t seem to land in my search results. As a writer, I enjoy (rather infrequently) publishing stories on Medium.com for friends and family to read, and have been working to launch my own podcast. I recently got back into my coursework to complete my degree, and enjoy running.

These facts, among many others, are missed in the pixelated results you can find with one click of a mouse, but I don’t altogether hate that things are this way. While the Internet has been an immeasurably great advancement to our societies, I do think there is such a thing as “TMI” when it comes to your digital identity and the repercussions it can have on future endeavors- wether that be job, friendship, relationship or otherwise.

Alternatively, just as Ryan Cordell once wrote in his article, “Creating and Maintaining a Professional Presence Online,” (see screenshot of excerpt below), the Internet can provide young people with a creative outlet to express themselves and gain a presence amongst professional and personal communities that they otherwise would struggle to spread without it. As a young person looking forward to exploring the public and private sector of the workforce myself soon, I find comfort and a sort of calling in knowing that what I publish online, personally and professionally, can have not only a negative impact on my standing as a candidate in the job market, but a positive one as well.

Except from “Creating and Maintaining a Professional Presence Online” by Ryan Cordell

Personally, I am grateful my digital footprint reflects as it does, as I feel it captures me in a positive, albeit narrow, light and look forward to growing my presence online in a continued, uplifting and beneficial direction.