Dakota D. Lewis
I was born into a family of 5, making it 6! I go by Dakota or any version of Koda.
I've always loved my name because it's unique and ambiguous to both gender and race. I think my name has shaped how I see the world, allowing me to circumvent racism in my educational and occupational experiences. I was naïve to this until learning about labor market discrimination. I have three middle names, all after relatives of mine, and I've never put my full name online to protect my digital and legal identity. It is necessary to keep certain personal facts away from the digital sphere for social, professional, and legal security. There are too many things that can go wrong, and I am a firm believer in Murphy's law.
My Digital Identity
Searching for my name and full name online mainly shows the individual instances of my five names. When searching only my first and last name, I only found a few references other than my social media pages. However, they were mainly to other Dakota Lewises. It turns out "Dakota Lewis" isn't as rare as I thought, and since I never use my full name, there isn't much information online about me, other than what I post myself. However, I am OK with this, and I don't see a reason to have an online public image at the moment because I still have much to achieve, and I prefer to control the information available about me.
The most accurate search was for "Dakota D Lewis," which showed results for my medium blog posts, LinkedIn, Instagram, and over five background check/ reverse search sites that showed semi-accurate information about me, including past addresses phone numbers. It is not a comforting thought that someone can easily search information like my address or phone number if they know my middle initial. Although, in the future, I doubt ill be able to keep control over a low digital profile with the career goals I've set forth for myself.
My social media accounts are moderately connected, and search engine optimization (SEO) naturally links these profiles together; Although it is not my focus, I rarely post articles, videos, or anything for that matter online. If you think it's a bit weird for someone who studies technology and social networks to be so disassociated with them, I promise there is a good reason. The internet is not private, and it was built to connect, not to hide.
Thus, anything you put online could resurface in the future and be seen by everyone. And when you seek the public eye, you also want to keep it off of certain areas of your life; the best way to do that is to keep your private life off the public internet.
I try to use the same profile photo across all platforms, and this particular profile photo used in the article was taken as a sophomore in college. I think it's best to look at social media and networking as the same, presenting only information that I would be fine with the world knowing and nothing more.
Even if I am not popular online, knowing the dangers present on the internet in addition to the tech industries' insatiable hunger for more data, It's safest to have controlled interactions on the internet. Too often, I've heard of people's private accounts and information being used against them by others and the difficulties of getting something removed from the internet; it is just not worth it.
Studio_1201 is a Design Consultancy and Creative Collective composed of a couple of pals that bumped heads on their educational journey. Some have been designers and creatives since the early days of high school, others since the early days of college, living long days and late nights, we're doing what we love.
I am a co-founder of Studio_1201.
Studio_1201 is a minority-owned, multi-disciplinary design firm, offering clients creative design strategies and technical solutions. Capabilities include Graphic Design, 3D Modeling & Visualization, Website & App Development, and Video production. Studio_1201 aims to create and materialize a client's vision to improve the brand of their product and, or service.
After starting Studio_1201 in 2018, I converted my social media accounts to the company accounts to retain followers and have since put most of my effort into developing my company's digital identity rather than myself personally. Google "Studio_1201", and you'll see that my SEO has placed our company at the top, dominating the search results. Curious to find out more about me or the company? Exploring our website! www.studio1201.com.
I have a conservative digital identity because I understand the dangers present online that threatens one's privacy, security, and liberty. I think it's essential to define a clear mental line between the public and private information about yourself and keep the private stuff off the internet. Because every platform is trying to scrape your data, your control over the information shared about you is limited, and one day there may not be a way to have that privacy. Through the digital development of Studio_1201, I have come to realize even more dangers lurking online, personally and professionally.
I use the internet as a tool to gather, create, and share information on any topic with a large audience. Still, until recently, I haven't put my reservations about the internet into words or thought that my personal information was already a subject that anyone could study online. To reference Murphy's law again, I'll leave you with a question:
Is there enough accurate information about you online to fake your identity?
- Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan. "Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination." American economic review 94.4 (2004): 991-1013.