Friday, October 31, 2008

Fears on blogging and social networking

There’s an interesting article on BBC about Facebook -- Bosses should ‘embrace’ Facebook, and why companies should welcome social networking at work. It’s a good read that talks about the pros and cons of using social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Friendster and many more.

This topic touches a sensitive nerve on me. I have to admit that up to now, one of my biggest fear is being googled and searched on social networking sites and searchers ultimately landing in this blog. I know, it sounds like this blog is a sort of clandestine operation, haha, but my real name is quite unique in the world and will definitely stand out in any online search.

Moreover, I feel awkward if people from my workplace, my boss, and my business associates read what I write here. I want my work and my personal lives separate. I want them to stay away from this blog! LOL! This is the reason why my Friendster account is on Dutched Pinay registration (which I am thinking of deleting soon), so as this blog of course, YouTube, Multiply, and even my YM!

There was a time - this was during my earlier blogging days, when this blog was open for comments. I went back and reviewed all posted comments accordingly (that took a lot of time mind you!) and deleted the ones that have my name on it. To make things convenient, I disabled my comments section and then deleted my chat box. It’s safer I thought, plus I’m a hermit who is reluctant and lazy to make new friends and socialize online. I just don’t have the time, gravity, and personality to make friends in a fly. I even went as far as contacting people who had my real name on their websites that point to this blog, requesting that they change my real name to Dutched Pinay or something else, if not, to just simply take it off.

The message is plain and simple. I WAS, AND STILL AM, SOOOO PARANOID!

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. Strange, its like I am walking on egg shells and living in a glass house.

When I graced at before as a blogger for the Netherlands, I often get obsessed and very anxious. I fret that one day my colleagues at work would suddenly recognize me – hey, you are the Dutched Pinay I read! You see, many of them are foreigners, expatriates who read Expatica for advice regularly.

I also got interviewed by a local magazine here, they usually feature foreign women from developing countries who integrated well into the society and made a successful career in the Netherlands. Since it’s the magazine’s policy to publish the real name of their interviewed subjects, I insisted that they NOT publish a link to my blog. Well, they agreed to my terms. Ah, I gave the chance away, that could have been instant publicity!

It’s a double edged sword. I do like the attention that’s why this blog is public but I also like to shy away from attention in real life. It sounds artificial, ironic, but it’s kind of along the lines of not getting too close for comfort with the real thing.

On retrospection, there are many bloggers that have taken advantage of their popularity and used their blogs as an avenue to widen their horizons and even make it a fulltime career.

But I just know that there is very little money in blogging, and to use this opportunity to snag a book deal, writing job, or whatever neighboring careers it can get me close to is not my thing, nor my liking; too much risk, exposure against loss of privacy, all for little money, and I don’t think I can even write that well!

I will stick to blogging as my hobby, a journal of my life (well more like a travel and expatriation journal really), no more, no less, but will keep it semi-anonymous as I am still overly paranoid about this whole privacy thing. I say semi-anonymous because I post freely my fotos on here but at least no one can google my real name and end up in this blog, haha.

Nevertheless, I’ve signed up with Facebook a year ago due to pressure from my ex-colleagues in my ex-company, who incidentally, and rightfully, is one of the experts on this matter, or shall I say catalyst, in the evangelization of this amazing social networking epidemic. It was part of the project we were working on and it was only late this year, this was when I left the company to move to better pastures that I got into the Facebook momentum.

I think the trick that worked for me with Facebook is because the people I have in my friends list are people I really know in real life... ex-colleagues, current colleagues, old friends, old classmates, schoolmates, family and relatives, and people I have been communicating with, on and off, for quite some time.

Obviously, there is NO link of my blog in Facebook and I have NO plans of publishing this blog there. There is a thin line between cyber and real life, and I want to hold on to that thin line as tight as I can... but some of you have been personally invited by me to come over here ;-)

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