No Judgement In Brainstorming

20 Jan

Full disclosure: I have written a blog before. Well, several blogs. I hopped on the Livejournal train during its inception, keeping a private blog there detailing the (fascinating) musings of my high school self. I kept that up for about six years– that says something about my perseverance!

Much later, after college, I dropped the journal with the defense of having no time. I am, after all, a graduate student. My species are notorious for having no time, no money, and questionable morals? See: Popular Culture.

 

Despite my new cartoonishly stressed existence, I couldn’t stay away from blogging. I attempted another anonymous blog, apparently unable to break from the promise of privacy.

Our generation, the first generation with real, complete access to the Internet, is inundated with warnings about the power of our online footprint. We could lose our jobs, never get jobs, have our coworkers hate us— the reasons to fear the Internet are endless!

And in some ways, having some sense of fear makes sense. Drunken pictures or angry statuses about employers could really hurt your credibility as a trustworthy, personable employee. But is the solution to carefully craft a public image that hides what you really care about?

Maybe regular people should just disappear from the Internet entirely. That seems to be what many public figures would have us think. We shouldn’t talk on the Internet at all– it’s better to stay quiet than risk saying something controversial, something worth talking about.

But we forget that the Internet opens up a whole range of possibilities for otherwise stationary people. We can share ideas, explore new options, and collaborate with all kinds of different people.

There’s this belief that what we put on the Internet is permanent. That we can never erase it once it’s on the web. But what people don’t realize, and what employers need to realize, is that people change and grow– and one of the ways we do that is by writing and sharing ideas with new people. This isn’t the McCarthy era; you can sign your name on a Communist Club meeting in college and everyone will still believe you’re a red-blooded Republican at 55. Haven’t you heard? In the 21st Century, flip-flopping is in.

Somehow, in our concerns about privacy, we have come to believe that writing down our ideas is more dangerous than saying them out loud. And I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but anyway, I don’t want to live my life in fear of what might happen if I write something. If I have an idea, an observation, an opinion, I’m going to write it.

And anyway, there’s no judgement in brainstorming!

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One Response to “No Judgement In Brainstorming”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happy 1.1 Blogversary! « Sustained Enthusiasm - February 20, 2013

    […] I worried about breaking from the safety being an “anonymous writer” gave me. I wanted to not worry about how employers would read me, not worry friends would […]

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