Who Am I Anyway

privateCurrently, I am having a minor crisis with my cell phone locked in my office for the weekend, so I am enjoying the air conditioned quiet of Dexel’s (old Hahnemann) library. While I hope and wait for my friend to email me back, I have time to blog.

This week, I had a major epiphany about a large discrepancy between Planet Caroline and about the Caroline “in real life.” In my public (ie. online) persona, I have been extremely private about my working life. The decision was made to not alienate my kind employers and risk the job I very much love. I think that is a wise, sane decision.

However, the work I do has some significance to the world (providing AIDS services and HIV prevention). And I care about it a lot. But I had gone too far in my privacy boundary and not only have I refrained about talking about the workplace, but I’ve kept quiet largely on the social issues that drive my job- poverty, homelessness, inequality and injustice toward LGBTI people. So my public persona has been devoid of any political or social change relevance at all.

And my public person is more empty and superfluous than the real me. The wake up call happened when I read my Twitter feed and realized that it didn’t reflect the real me at all. In fact, I found it too silly and a little embarassing. (Yes, you are welcome to scan my twitter feed, but I don’t feel like linking you to it.) So today I made a change and I tweeted a bit about issues that matter to me and got positive feedback from some people asking for more of that.

So here I am posing the question to the people who are reading this post.  How do you be genuine in the public online world while maintaining your privacy? Is it possible to be the “real you” when communicating with many strangers, including anonymous lurkers? Do you have any tricks or ground rules.

In a way, all of us have become celebrities with clusters of fans or followers that we don’t always know. Or we know them, but want to maintain proper boundaries like from an ex, boss, coworker, or mom. I really want to hear your thoughts on this…Thanks.

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One response to “Who Am I Anyway

  1. This deserves a reply from somebody so I guess it’ll have to be me.

    Being genuine versus keeping some privacy is a matter for each individual to decide. You should never lie about something, but you’re always free not to write about a topic that is too personal. Privacy would also be easier to maintain if you didn’t link your sites to each other 🙂 If you really want to discuss something private with someone, there’s still email, phones, and whatnot. Not everything must be blogged.

    It also shouldn’t be possible for anyone to perfectly convey “the real you” in a series of blurbs, unless they’re incredibly shallow or a phenomenal writer.

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