Decision made

Well, my diary is officially about to go public. I’ve signed off on the paperwork to officially donate it to the archive, and started the process today of sorting out which entries are actually earthquake-related and converting them to a format that can be archived. It’ll be a few weeks before it actually appears on the site (there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes prep that has to be done to add metadata first, and then a QA process before it can go live), but once it is, my real name will be associated with my FutureCat persona for the first time ever.  Scary!
What’s been really interesting about the process of deciding to archive my blog has been talking to the younger members of the team about it.  They’re of the generation that grew up with Facebook and think it’s completely normal to have your real name on everything you do on the internet.  So different from my generation, whose early experiences with the internet were all about anonymity and never revealing your true identity.
Up until now, I’ve had dual internet identities – there’s RealName me, who is my professional persona and gets used for work stuff, and FutureCat me, who is still a persona (because if we’re being honest, who is ever completely themselves online (or in real life, for that matter)?  You always filter yourself slightly to present the image of yourself you want to show to the world) but a persona that’s lot closer to what I consider the “real” me than the RealName persona is.  But gradually the two identities have started to overlap, especially with this job where so much of what I do professionally is done through social media and other parts of the internet.  The more I operate in this post-Facebook everyone using their real names new internet, the more I understand the logic of my younger colleagues, who don’t see any need to separate out their professional and private lives on-line.  Instead of pretending their professional selves are all that exists, they happily let their tweets about Friday’s conference sit alongside pictures of their pets and plans for a party.  In their internet world, you’re allowed to have a life outside of work, and any employer who’d be upset just because they saw a photo of you doing something silly in your own time probably isn’t worth working for anyway.
I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve that level of relaxation about how I present myself on-line, but it’s an interesting way of looking at it.

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One Comment

  1. I feel your trepidation. I still don’t ever put pictures of myself online. I don’t know if I will ever get over that barrier. Though I suppose if I was offered the kind of opportunity that you are, there is an element of “greater good” that comes into play.
    Things do change don’t they?
    All the time.

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