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The Walls Have Ears (and the Net Has Eyes)

It’s amazing what you can learn about a person on the web—even about folks who have never touched a computer are there, waiting to be discovered.

I was talking with a student today when he commented how he liked this blog. I do not advertise this blog to my students. He, like many web savvy students today, make a habit of doing web searches on their instructors to see what they can learn about them, much the way a prospective employer will do for a job applicant.

I realize this is the reality and therefore am usually fairly careful about personal info I reveal here. I expect that some of my department colleagues have found this site. It is the nature of the beast. Our department graduate office makes a point during TA training to warn TA’s not to write anything in an email they don’t want on the front page of the NY Times.

We as faculty have to be tech savvy. It is not enough to simply not be on the web. It is generally better to have a proactive presence on the web and assume that the world can see you, so that you can have some say in what Google lists as the top hits for your name. Also, occasionally do a search on yourself to see what is said about you, as a defensive measure for protecting your reputation. In other words, guard your webutation.

Christ warns as much when He calls us in Matthew 10:16 to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves, because as He says in Luke 12:2-3, “Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.

And to all my students—Watch what you put on facebook. We can do a search on you, too. Asking for that extension, then posting about this weekend’s beer bash is a bad combination! Don’t laugh—it happened! Have a great day! Keep reading here! But that’s not an excuse for turning in your reports late! ;)  If you need help, let us know.


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