Identity Crisis

Good grief. It’s been way too long since I have blogged here. Honestly I am not truly motivated because nobody reads this blog other than my mother (thanks mom!). Also, I’ve been debating on keeping this site alive since I’ve had this internet handle (gizzypooh) for 15+ years now (yeah, that dates me).

As I started to focus more on my professional life and tried to build up my “personal brand”, I was finding it difficult to separate my professional from my personal life. And then lately I’ve realized that the two can actually co-exist and it isn’t actually a dissonance to have the two worlds collide. Can I be both a working professional who takes my work and career seriously, and also a fun and social person at the same time? Of course, right? Then why am I having such a difficult time merging the two?

Going back to since I discovered the internet (back in the late 90s), nobody used their real name in their handles. It was just unheard of and most would consider that unsafe and just a way to attract stalkers. I still remember this guy from my church who warned me that he found my resume online and thought I should take it off because it was totally unsafe. Well, first of all I was a bit creeped out that this person was looking at my website with my resume posted. But nowadays with the prevalence of twitter, facebook, linkedin, tumblr, instagram and other social media avenues, personal information is every where. In fact, personal branding is in and not having a digital presence on the internet is rather old school thinking. Recruiters now frequently will type your name in a search engine to see what comes up to determine if you are a good fit for the company (I know this because sometimes I do this as a recruiter!) The term that I have also been hearing a lot is what some label it as “thought leadership”. (Google it, I’m sure you’ll find lots about this topic.) Concept along the lines that if there is a problem, rather than having only access to one or a few experts in real life to solve the problem (old way), you can now throw the problem into the clouds and have all kinds of global SME, that you normally would not have access to, help you solve a problem (new way). Leveraging global talent and resources from around the world through the medium of social networks, blogs, etc.

OK, as I digress, what I was going to mention was that back in the hey-days when the internet started getting popular I started registering for services like ICQ (remember that?), MSN, Yahoo mail, etc. and I just stuck with “gizzypooh”. Some of my friends nicknamed me Gizzy and well, I was girly and liked Winnie-the-Pooh. (Did I ever mention that I went into a profession of computing because I thought the internet was the most awesome invention? And also the fact that my dad mentioned I should take computing or business and I picked computers since I disliked business as a teenager.) Now that I’m in my mid-30’s, “gizzypooh” just seems so immature… so I started using handles such as “iam_ghislaine” for twitter. And now I’m stuck with gizzypooh and iam_ghislaine for twitter. But then the sentimental part of me thinks that how could I ever retire my original internet handle? All that history, all those digital memories…

So I’m truly wondering, if I should:

  1. Continue using  gizzypooh
  2. Transition to using  iam_ghislaine (or anything more authentic and adult-like)
  3. Or just use both and have this split persona on the interwebs

I haven’t really decided yet… I think I will eventually pick option 2. I need to grow up. But sometimes, growing up just isn’t fun.


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