On a late-spring day, my partner and I were walking in a neighborhood near the University of Minnesota. I stumbled upon a few books laying in a pile of “free stuff” on someone’s front yard. I picked up Status Update by Alice Marwick. The book’s title alone sparked curiosity. I have always been interested in how my generation represents themselves online. Our diligently curated and impulsive digital commentary is the capstone of our social discourse. I read the book in about one week, and then I was inspired to level-up my digital image.
I owe Marwick credit for the inspiration. Her research in this book inspired me to start blogging. It also encouraged me to reflect how I represent myself online. The idea of self-branding, discussed in Chapter 4, is critical to our success as young professionals. For example, I routinely get a profile view alert on LinkedIn approximately 10 days after I submit a new job application. Did my LinkedIn presence give me a leg-up in the hiring process? According to Marwick, the likely answer is ‘yes.’
Withstanding the test of time, this book was published in 2013, yet the content is still relevant in today’s increasingly digital world. So here I am. I’m about to begin my journey into the world of blogging. Where will I start? Will I write about community organizing via Zoom? Should I explore new commute opportunities in a post-pandemic urban landscape? Or should I consider how the Donald Trump era made us all ageist?
The ability to organize and articulate my thoughts is a privilege granted to me by my educational experiences. The ability to distribute my thoughts and market myself on a web-hosting platform, for less than $10 a month, is a modern miracle. I look forward to where this journey will take me.