Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Multiple personality discord

I just read Mike's post about holding two twitter accounts: one personal, one professional - and the incomplete comfort there is in doing that. And it really struck a chord.

Before I started this blog, I was just another museology grad student plodding along. Then suddenly I had this voice. And people I respected were talking back at me. And opportunities began to open up. Really, starting this blog has opened up so many doors for me as a museum professional and allowed me to engage with communities of people that I would not have otherwise.

But I keenly feel this personal/professional divide. I straddle it poorly. I have four blogs. Four. Plus two or three blogs I had agreed to contribute to and don't (sorry guys). I have this blog, my personal blog, my knitting blog, and my collections management blog. I maintain a personal facebook profile and one for my museum. I tweet for myself and for my museum. That's a lot of me, splattered all over the internet.

And my internet persona will not resemble what I am like if you ever meet me. I am very quiet, very introverted, very poor at conversation. Not until I know you personally (and maybe I have two-three shots of espresso in me) will I become bubbly and excitable. Unless we're talking about something about which I am passionate or consider myself an expert. I am one internet away from being a reclusive hermit.

But on the internet I consider myself pretty forthcoming. Probably too much so. I will tell you my life story if I think it's relevant. I manage to keep my personal self out of my museum's online presence, for the most part. But here it gets blurred. Because when I began this blog, I wasn't really fully truly expecting anyone to notice it. So my tone has always been very personal. Frankly, I prefer to type as I think (so there are a lot of conjunctions, have you noticed?) and I do fairly minimal editting.

And twitter. If you follow me on twitter, you know that I am VERY rarely twittering about the sorts of things I blog about here. Twitter is primarily a place where I spout off whatever is on my mind - and it often has to do with yarn or caffeine. And it is usually highly inane. I'd say about a third of my followers are Museo-related folks who seem to put up with it. A handful are knitters, and a handful are people I actually know. Although, for me, actually know includes people who I have never met in person but who are friends on my personal blog.

It's a weird dynamic. And I do feel the pull. So, yeah. It's an interesting age to live in, where we have so many ways to express ourselves and so many chances to recreate ourselves.