Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: How do you manage your privacy?

The other day, Nicole brought up the question whether or not we as educators can be “normal” people, and it got me to thinking about the ways teaching has affected other areas of my life. This career has probably had the biggest impact on the way I think about and manage my privacy in online venues. We’re well beyond the era when we could just keep our phone numbers unlisted, and there is an ever-present opportunity that a student might happen upon something I have written or posted online (not to mention things others have posted about me).

This is one reason why pseudonyms are so important in online spaces: they allow us to participate in honest discussions of controversial topics and life experiences without fear of professional repercussions or even simple embarrassment in front of students who discover something about you that you wish they hadn’t known (OMG Professor Dan is a HUGE anime nerd! LOL!!1).

One of the trickiest areas to navigate–aside from the complex politics of including students and colleagues in one’s social networks–is participation in things like online dating websites where one is expected to put up some amount of honest personal information (not to mention pictures) in order to attract potential partners. This expectation can be especially hard on sexual minorities, who risk more professionally by putting their lives on display but also face more difficulties in finding potential partners without the aid of the internet (not to mention that some websites that target such a userbase might encourage the posting of more explicit material).

How do you manage your privacy? Do you use online dating websites? Is there anything online that you’d just hate for your students to find?

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Featured image: Grahford

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Dan holds a PhD in Music History from a major Canadian university and is now pursuing a M.Ed in Higher Education at another one, because he likes to collect very expensive paper. He performs stand-up comedy at venues all over Toronto when he's not busy playing JRPGs with his cat, Roy. You can follow him at @incontrariomotu, but he isn't going anywhere. You can also send him a tip on PayPal (paypal.me/dandonnelly) if you like his work!

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