The first time I ran across this phrase was on Facebook. I was doing my daily peruse of FB statuses, and I came across this. "Think before you ink." At the time, I thought to myself, what a clever saying given the digital age and pathway for communicating instantaneously with everyone.
Two days after seeing that, I committed the crime. I posted a status update and picture. Here's how it all transpired. While enjoying my spring break from school, teachers, and students, I was in a coffee shop reading a book and hyping myself up for the day's agenda. I took a picture of the book, The Fundamental 5 by Sean Cain, and posted this status. "A little Starbucks, a little reading, a little journal-ing, and then it's off to visit more Houston schools." No sooner had I posted this picture and status that I started getting text messages and comments from friends and family. They were asking me if I was moving to Houston and leaving Starkville School District. Even my wife received texts from her friends asking if we were moving to Texas. Moments later, she called me to say, "what did you put on Facebook?!?"
I had committed the crime and "inked" a misleading message. Although we are investigating and pursuing a potential move to Texas teaching and leading, my intent was recognize one of my educational values. If you really know me and my M.O., mode of operation, I am a life-long learner in leadership, and I wanted to see how other schools operated so that I could possibly bring back some better ideas for our campus and our district.
To close out, here are my take aways. We are in the generation of digital foot printing. What is a digital foot print? Just like seeing your foot prints in the sand at the beach, a digital footprint goes out into "the cloud" or the world-wide-web. It follows your pathway that you are taking along the internet road. What we Facebook, Instagram, Tweet, Blog, and/or Snapchat goes out to the world immediately. We can edit it or delete it, but for that split second, it's out there for the connected world. Since there will be people out there that capture the post, think before you ink!! I tell my teachers and my students to use caution before you hit that send button. Once it's out there, you can't take it back. We are making digital footprints out there that can send a misleading message. What kind of digital foot print are you making?