Here we go.
Previously I never really considered myself as a potential blogger, but I am a writer and an avid social-networker, so why not give it a shot? I will only ask that you bear with me, and remain aware that my posts will likely seem more like my rants to myself than organized or structured blog posts.
Another reason for the blog is that I also like the idea of incorporating a personal aspect to my website, which although intended for professional purposes, I would also like to use as a personal space. I try not to draw too thick of a line between personal and professional, because I am very aware that in my area neither can exist without the other. As with all creators, everything I make stems in some way from personal experiences.
Recently, in the context of a course at my university, I learned that as professionals today we need to learn to market not just our skills, but ourselves. As we become public, on-line figures we gain the freedom to shape how we are perceived through what we share on-line. In a way, we are given the choice to try and truly express ourselves and our identities (as I like to do) or instead to re-invent our identities.
So as I build this website, I am constantly questioning how what I post here will affect how others perceive me. Should I be tailoring it so that my target audience (whoever that is) might be impressed, or rather create something which I feel represents me honestly, and simply accept that it will only impress some people and not others? I have to go with the latter. Or actually, with a third option: I am doing this for myself. I will try to keep reminding myself.
On the subject of self-representation, I had conversation today with my family about how “young people today” are living through their online social networks. I have mixed opinions on this matter; By no means would I endorse that online social activity should replace real-life interaction, but I like to believe that we can attain a healthy balance between the two. Social networking has been a great blessing for me as someone who is constantly on the move because I can very easily stay in touch with friends and family via posts and photos.
Granted, I admit that I have become a bit of an over-sharer when it comes to online social networking… Oh great, now I’m questioning whether blogging is really the best way to tackle this new-found personal issue.
Anyway. I actually find that even in-person interaction has been facilitated by my online social activity. Like by the fact that it is socially acceptable to “add” someone on facebook just after the first encounter – relatively often, in my case, this leads to coffee, or other forms of in-person social interaction which can eventually add up to a real-life “friendship”. Unbelievable, I know.
But perhaps I am making too many assumptions based on my own experiences with social networking.
In this context I can safely admit that I am someone in need of some form of social validation – after all, isn’t that what we’re all hoping for when we check to see how many “likes” and comments we’ve gotten on our recent posts? But I try to put this into perspective.
Perhaps to conclude on this topic for today, I can (and I encourage you to do so as well) pledge to remain aware of my own on-line behavior, and to actively try not to let it get too much out of hand.