Cybersleuthing my Bestie!

For my post on digital identity, my best friend Ashley Osachoff and I chose to cybersleuth each other. To give you a little backstory, Ashley and I have known of each other since elementary school after one of my childhood friends moved to Ashley’s school and often had birthday parties with friends from both schools attending. We also played against each other on opposing elementary school athletic teams, and lastly, we were in elementary and high school band together, with Ashley playing saxophone and I played the clarinet. The story of how we actually became best friends though is a little different and happened by chance. I went to a bonfire hosted by a guy I knew but wasn’t really friends with (I have NEVER been the type of person who goes into a situation where I don’t know at least one person well enough that I could just sit and hang out with but for some reason on that night I did exactly that) and I happened to sit next to Ashley (maybe I knew that that night would change my life forever, in the best kind of way). Soon, we got to talking. We were just about to start grade eleven and I had just gotten my license a few months before. Ashley and I talked about our semester schedules, which led us to talk about band class, an early bird class that began an hour before everyone else’s normally scheduled classes. As we got to talking, Ashley mentioned that she wasn’t sure how she would get to band class on time because while she lived a short drive from our high school, it was still a bit of a walk. At which point, I offered to drive her. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of a forever friendship. Since then, we have had many adventures together.

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For this web search, I used DuckDuckGo, a search engine that does not track your searches, in a private window to ensure that everything I found about Ashley would be from the point of someone that does not have her as an online friend. On DuckDuckGo, I search Ashley Osachoff Regina. The first thing to pop up was Ashley’s Facebook page. Her page was private and shared very little information, such as:

  • lives in Regina, Saskatchewan
  • swimmer (there are various pages which mention Ashley and her competitive swimming achievements)
  • food lover
  • likes Big Brother Canada
  • “one of the craziest and funniest people you will ever meet” (from experience, I can promise that this is not a lie!)
  • favourite quote: “You have to be a little bit odd to be number one.”

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The next Ashley related web result was her Twitter account: @MsOsachoff (I would really suggest following her!). Here I found out that she currently attending the University of Regina in the Faculty of Education, majoring in Math and minoring in Inclusive Education. Her profile appears to be very professional, including the profile picture she chose. Ashley also gives the link for her blog (I also recommend following her blog!) on her Twitter account, which also happens to be the next link on her DuckDuckGo search.

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I found it funny that Ashley’s first blog post that appeared on the search engine was of her blog post about creeping my online presence! I was through this post that I accessed her whole blog. On her blog, I found many of the same information that I found on Facebook and Twitter, so here are the facts that I did not find on the other two sites:

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Ashley’s blog was the last result I could find on Ashley through DuckDuckGo. While I am aware of other social media accounts, Ashley’s choice of usernames for these accounts makes it nearly impossible to locate without the exact username. Overall, I think Ashley presents a very professional appearance online. As mentioned in Nicole Lee’s article, Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think, Ashley’s digital identity has “different social accounts [which] reflect different parts of her persona,” here Ashley embodies the idea of “[d]ifferent sites, different audiences, different purposes.”

After snooping through Ashley’s digital identity, I now realize that your digital identity tells the world who you are, but also who you are not. Ashley’s digital identity clearly says that she is an educator who loves working with kids but it also says that her personal life is private, which I believe is perfectly fine! As educators, we must make a choice as to how much of our personal lives we will share with students, while still being careful not to cross the line in the sand that indicates the space between being professional to being unprofessional. I think having her Facebook as her private, personal account is great, as it allows her to share information with family and friends as she so chooses and any information that she would like to share with everyone beyond her Facebook friends can be shared through her professional Twitter account.

 

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