Eileen Kern

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25 Years of Internet

I recently posted on the iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute to celebrate the internet’s 25th birthday, and, specifically, what the internet and increased connectivity in general has meant for job seekers.

My own personal relationship with the Internet has proven to be even more complicated. When I was studying education, it seemed unwise to have a public internet presence. The job market wasn’t very friendly: I thought, why risk not getting an interview because students might discover I had a (nerdy, bookish) life outside the classroom? But instead, I unexpectedly but happily found a different career path, one that is generally accepting of and even insistent about the Internet and social media. It’s a different game: Why not have a public internet presence? All of the interesting conversations are happening online.

I recently stumbled upon Mena Trott’s TED Talk (Fun fact: it comes up as a result for the search “banjo”) which explores some of the best and worst aspects of blogging. From this talk, it becomes clear that blogging can provide connections to other people, to our own past, to a legacy. Of course, there’s a flip side to being publicly connected–the less well people know you, the more likely they won’t understand your story or your sense of humor (such as when Trott’s readers suggested that she divorce her husband over a banjo and a snarky blog post).

We take risks when we present our stories to a public eye, but we also court immortality. I’ll finish this post with a different TED talk, one that will almost certainly live on in internet archives well beyond your lifetime and mine and the presenter’s. What a strange truth that is.