Living online

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.

Author: guerson

Food-obsessed historian and knitter.

9 thoughts on “Living online”

  1. Muita gente ainda não entende o conceito de “blog”. Elas acham que você tem que colocar tudo o que acontece na sua vida, como se você não fosse capaz de fazer uma seleção das coisas que quer publicar.
    Antes de saber o que era blog, as pessoas me diziam que era um diário ao qual todos tinham acesso, e eu me perguntava “Por que alguém vai querer expôr sua vida privada desta forma?”.
    Só depois que comecei a ler alguns blogs percebi que existe uma forma te interagir com outras pessoas sem perder sua privacidade e isso é fantástico!
    Graças ao meu blog, hoje conheço muito mais gente no Canadá do que no Brasil. Quem me dera ter conhecido essa ferramenta há muito mais tempo!

  2. I think the real problem for employment is the Facebook crazy kids exposing their lives as if there’s no tomorrow, and employers afraid that the inappropriate behavior they show online could transfer into the workplace. They are right to think that way.

    But I don’t see how having a blog where you expose your political ideas, not so much your private life, can affect your hiring as a professor. After all, you probably want to work for a place that respects academic freedom, and that includes being able to express your political ideas.


  3. Alexandra,

    Very good post and I totally agree with you.

    In my opinion, your blog should even be considered as an advantage for you as you expose here your ideas and life philosophies, which is very good.

    I hope you keep writing what you wish and the way you want…

    Congratulations for the blog.

    p.s: By the way, if you have a time, come to visit my blog too :-)

  4. Great post. From all of your observations on forums it’s totally possible to understand that you’re true to your convictions and that you really appreciate the online world. I think that if it’s well used it can be really beneficial. I tend to have empathy with people even before I met them in person. One of my great friends is a girl whose blog I used to read ;)

    I wrote a little bit about being in between “privacy” and the “big brother.” However, I do agree with what you wrote. I’m honest to my beliefs, yet I have a filter and I know somethings can be misinterpreted so I won’t write about them.

    You should run for the Liberals ;)

  5. No meu ponto de vista, se vc quer realmente ter uma vaga em uma universidade, todo cuidado eh pouco, porque cada departamento eh um departamento, cada universidade eh diferente tambem. Quem le um blog, pega soh uma parte das coisas e certas pessoas podem avaliar que voce gasta bastante tempo no blog, discutindo coisas que nao sao necessariamente associadas ao teu trabalho. Se o conteudo do blog nao eh academico (puramente, o que eh impossivel) eu acho delicado, principalmente se vc escreve em ingles, em portugues eh mais leve porque poucos saberao o que e sobre o que vc fala. Eu por exemplo, nao quero que meus alunos saibam o que eu como, onde eu fui no final de semana, onde eu moro, qual eh a roupa que o meu marido usa. Dependendo do lugar onde voce estah aplicando pra ter um emprego pode ser delicado e na verdade eu conheco poucos professores sem tenure que tem blogs onde expoem ideias. Os poucos que o fazem usam pseudonimo e nao postam fotos…isso dito, eu acho que o melhor eh vc fazer as coisas como vc se sente melhor, cada um sabe onde pisa. Beijo grande querida, e manda noticias hora dessas por email.

  6. Exposing your private life on the internet is what you call being true to yourself? I have to finish the paper for ACFAS 2009, when I finish I’ll be back.

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