"Fame is very much a double-edged sword.” – Kevin Bacon --
I can liken my presence on the web to a double-edged sword because of the associated advantages and disadvantages. In a positive sense, it has allowed me to establish a professional presence that I use to showcase my work to my peers, professors, and potential employers. In a negative sense, it has changed the way I communicate with friends and family members, which has stifled some relationships by making them less personal than they would be without the “aid” of the web.
When I first came to State University, I tried to minimize my presence on the web by selecting privacy settings that would not allow people outside the State community to view my work. I was under the false impression that if someone can learn about you through a Google search that you need to be more discreet on-line. However, when I finally began to realize that the web can be used to enhance an on-line appearance, I made it my goal to develop a professional presence that accurately reflects me as an individual. I’ve achieved this goal through a variety of on-line programs such as ePortfolio, LinkedIn, and Yammer.
By establishing an on-line presence through a variety of professional outlets, I have been able to share and reflect upon my experiences in a way that has helped me to grow as a person and as a student. This connects to Levinson’s chapter on blogging where he refers to bloggers as “citizen journalists” to emphasize the fact that one “need not be a professional journalist to write and publish the news” (81). Levinson goes on to say that the act of blogging has bestowed a “liberation” on us and that virtually anyone can blog (81). In a way, blogging is a form of reflecting that provides a freeing and liberating feeling for me. Whereas I wouldn’t normally take the time to think carefully about the journeys that I have taken throughout a class, internship, book, or project, I find myself reflecting upon these experiences and thinking critically for the purposes of ePortfolio and blogs. When reflecting, I stop thinking on a smaller scale of how the experience helped me as an individual and I think about the broader picture of how I have grown and gained valuable skills that I can contribute to the world. Although the act of blogging does not differ much from keeping a personal journal or diary, the blogging aspect is more fun and exciting for me because of the ability I have to change the design and share my thoughts with others. It’s also easier to see how I’ve grown over time by scrolling through blog posts than it is to find and sift through personal journals. Essentially, blogging makes it easier to stay neat and organized and has become a motivator for me to reflect.
When I take this time to think deeply about what I’ve done and how I’ve grown, I become more confident in myself and can easily explain my experiences to my peers or prospective employers. One of the highlights of the development...