It’s not a secret to anyone that I’m doing a PhD and that I hope to one day get a job as a university professor. Some of my friends in academia, when they hear I have a blog, ask if I’m not afraid my blog might be read by other academics or by a hiring committee in the future, if I’m not afraid I’m disclosing too much online.
The truth is – I’ve been online since 1996. There is nothing I can do about that. If you google me, you’ll get to page 9 before you get entries that are not related to me. So interacting with people online has been a basic part of my personality since I first discovered the internet, all those years ago. Why should I suppress that? Of course I know that if I write something here or on a discussion forum somewhere, someone might read it. Heck, even my parents or my supervisor might find it. But if I don’t want people to know about something or I don’t want my name to be associated with something, I simply don’t write about it.
So when I read Rochelle Mazaar’s brilliant post about how she feel about this very issue, I couldn’t help but write about it here as well. This passage particularly resonated with me:
Yes, anything you publish online can be seen by in-laws, employers, potential employers, potential dates, etc. But if you take that into account and think, yes, well, I struggled, I survived; why not talk about it? Isn’t it okay? If you accept that someone might take issue with you one day? Or if you know, if anyone WERE to take issue with you because of it, they aren’t someone you’d want to date/spend time with/work for?
If there’s one thing I won’t compromise on is on being true to who I am. Call me naive if you will, but no job, no matter how prestigious or high-paying or how long I worked to qualify for it, is worth denying my values and who I am as a person. What a google search or this blog hopefully shows is that I am a person who likes engaging with the world in which I live. And if there is a department or employer out there that has a problem with that, then I’m obviously not a good fit for them. It’s as simple as that.