Today we’re featuring a guest post from Michigan student Eric C who shares how the Ignition – Digital Literacy and Responsibility course taught him to think critically about the image he portrays of himself on the Internet. Congrats to Eric for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Eric C
Teacher: Anthony Wright
School: Sterling Heights Senior High School
State: Michigan
Sponsor: NHL, NHLPA

With the ever increasing significance of technology in our daily lives, what we do online is making a bigger impact on our futures. The EVERFI program has taught me about the potential consequences my choices may cause, through the engaging and interactive Ignition program.

For a while now, I’ve known that social media and text messaging can be a cause of controversy, especially when it comes to viral trends. However, I didn’t realize how quickly something as harmless as a picture or video could be spread to a larger audience, many of whom may be critical of the contents. I already knew that I could potentially hurt my chances of getting a job in the future, but I didn’t know the true scope of how far the damage would go.

After completing the Ignition course, I found myself with the challenge of deciding whether to post a risky status update online or not. At the time, it seemed like no harm would come from it, as most teenagers would do. However, I realized that the language and content of the message would be painting a less than ideal image of myself on the Internet. Because future employers and educational establishments will be able to see that, I decided against posting that status. Afterwards, I went back and edited all of my social media profiles, removing any questionable content, leaving behind a clean image of who I am and what I stand for.