What is Private?: Who is looking and do I care

Two weeks ago, I went to Costa Rica. It was fabulous. I was on vacation, so I ate and drank whatever pleased me to do so. Is that not what vacation is all about? When I came home, I sat down to upload all my wonderful photos onto Flickr and then hesitated.

Do I really want everyone to see all my pictures? ALL of them? What if I look bad? What if I am tired with a pina colada in front of me? Does it matter? Do I care?

People who know me in “real” life know I am open with who I am. What you see is mostly what you get. I am an adult, so I occassionaly drink. I like to take pictures of my drinks for a reason I have not yet determined.

My boss looks at my pictures. People I do not know, have yet to meet, and may one day work for look at my pictures. Will it taint their image of me to see this?

After about 5 minutes of deliberation, I decided I did not care. We are all adults and I post pictures with the full knowledge that someone, somewhere will dissapprove of something I do. There is a line and I do not feel I have crossed it.

This is the first time I have faced this sort of delemma in regards to images. I know I can make some pictures “private” on Flickr, but having private pictures is not the purpose of that account. I decided when I put my name on my blog that if I ever interviewed with an employer who took offense at something I said or put online and, as a result, would not hire me, I did not want to work for them anyway. I think part of this attitude comes from my young age. Maybe I am just pig headed. (Mr. Rochester would go with the latter.)

There should be room in the world for different kinds of people and expression. I would not want to work for someone who willfully misunderstood the way the world works in an Internet age.

In brief: I decided I did not care.

–Jane, most of my favorite pictures are of this anyway

7 thoughts on “What is Private?: Who is looking and do I care

  • August 21, 2006 at 10:36 pm
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    You go on vacation. You have drinks when you go on vacation. I’m shocked! Shocked, you hear me, shocked! Beer! Fruit-colored drinks that might contain something stronger than soda! What is this world coming to? Next you’ll be saying that you weren’t thinking about work every minute you were away…

  • August 22, 2006 at 2:48 pm
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    I came to the conclusion, about two years ago, that I didn’t want to work for anyone who objected to me having a personal blog that sometimes talks about libraries. And so my name stays on it.

    Also, I have the picture discussion with myself all the time. Does the world need to see that picture Drew took of me in my jammies? Does my future boss need to see it? But the internet changes the discussion, and the parameters within which we make our decisions.

    So jammies on the internet, it is!

  • August 23, 2006 at 9:26 am
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    I have this discussion with myself pretty often, although I do tend to post more personal pics to a flickr account I had before I started my blog. I take more pics of friends drinking etc then there are of myself so I try to keep those out of the work arena for the most part.

    I’m totally shocked that you had fruity drinks on vacation. Shocked I say!

  • August 23, 2006 at 9:38 am
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    I know, I know. We all drink, but it just got me to thinking about how things like Flickr can change the line between what you would put out in public and what you would keep to yourself. I do not have a traditional photo album of anything but my wedding. Most of the pictures I “own” are all on Flickr.

    And man were those fruity drinks good. My friend Tom makes pina coladas from scratch that are simply amazing. Hence my need to force myself to stay awake to consume a couple.

  • August 23, 2006 at 12:52 pm
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    Yep, I tend to not discuss my personal life in great detail with co-workers and students offline. But using tools like flickr has opened up some of what I share, so it’s definitely something I think about too. I do write about some personalish stuff on my blog but always somehow related to work. So I guess my line has shifted somewhat. And I take lots of pics of drinks and food too!

    Two of my friends have a long running fruity drink making competition. Much to the benefit of everyone!

  • August 28, 2006 at 9:51 pm
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    I have had this conversation with myself to and arrived at the same conclusion: I would not want to work for someone who did not understand flickr, blogs and how “sharing is the new black” (and sometimes the sharing crosses in to personal areas).

    When I wrote my blog entry on Library Garden about adopting our son I almost didn’t hit send — it felt way too personal. But I leaned in to my discomfort and pushed send, and it felt good to say what was really on mind and in my heart that night.

    Love the shot of you falling asleep with the pina colada!

  • August 29, 2006 at 8:51 am
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    Janie,
    I loved that post about your son. I think sharing things like that are what make us “real” online. No one likes a talking head.

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