Here’s an interesting situation brought to me by my good friend, Jane Doe. She’s an academic pursuing a PhD in political philosophy by day and going after a dancing hobby by night.
Jane wants to start using social media for both;
(a) to follow other academics and help build his reputation as a political philosopher and
(b) to grow her network of salsa friends and build his reputation as a good dancer.
BUT, here’s the problem:
Both industries put a lot of weight on reputation. Jane is hesitant in using social media because in the very political world of academia, videos, photos and a dancing lifestyle could translate into lack of seriousness – silly but apparently true. (Academics, care to comment on this?)
She could try to create two different unrelated profiles, but trying to hide information on the Internet is like trying to block the sun with your thumb.
If she really wants to ride the social media wave, she has to create two handles: one for “DancingJane61” and one for “Jane A. Doe”, and be prepared to take any criticism (or praise) this might cause.
This brings a more important issue to the table. Social media is changing the amount of information we’re able to not share.
Is it possible for one person to use social media for two different purposes having one completely separated from the other? If possible, it must be extremely difficult. Sooner or later, people who know you in person would use your name or some other piece of information that would identify you to anyone looking to find out more about you.
As Jane would say, “what a great PhD thesis topic!” But in fewer words, what do you think?