Think Like a Geisha

In Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, one character scolds a young woman for bowing clumsily and then blowing on her tea to cool it rather than to wait for it to cool before drinking it.  The scolding involved a caution that a geisha had to be conscious at all times of the image she presented.

We live in a far more transparent age than Kyoto of the 1930s and if we are going to have an Internet presence, we need to be conscious of what we put out there.

If you have a presence on the web, especially if it’s linked to a legal name <cough>Facebook</cough> you might want to consider what you put out there.  Can employers see it?  Can colleagues?  Can employees, clients or potential clients?  Are you a teacher?  If so, are you careful that you only put publicly online Facebook things you’d want your students to see?

I’m not saying that you have to be totally stiffnecked, or that you shouldn’t have any personality to what you’ve got online.  My own online image is quirky as hell.  It’s also quirky on purpose, as that’s what differentiates my work from others and makes my classes and talking interesting.  So for me, being kind of weird is actually a business asset.  If you think I’m don’t consider carefully what sort of weirdness I make public, you’re fooling yourself.

That’s really the point in the long run.  Have a clear idea about what sort of public image you want to have, then be very careful that anything you let appear online sticks to that.

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