My offline presence
For my tenth birthday I got five diaries. They smelled of lavender and had little golden locks attached to them. Ten golden keys were dangling about, two at each diary. If at that time, in the beginning of the 90s, Google had existed, it would not have found me.
I never dared to write in one of the diaries. It was too pretty (had a five star interface – in translation for modern kids) and I felt that I did not have enough to say. I waited for a big thought, a boom, or a valuable piece to put in. Since then I have lost the key, so I can’t open it any more. I could probably break the lock, it’s the size of my nail, but I feel I would be intruding on my own childhood privacy.
I regularly wrote in other four diaries. When I found out at the age 12 or 13 that I don’t have one kidney, I wrote a poem to the lonely kidney. It must have liked it, as it has never bothered me since. Apart from that, I never read my work to anyone.
Transitions are hard. The first essay I wrote on the keyboard was about the advantages of writing in hand. Some might call it nostalgic, others backward-looking; I just find it ironic and a little stubborn on my part.
You have to create your own personalised brand – I heard on a recent conference about business start-ups and new technologies. You go to these conferences and end up thinking: either I’m very behind and outdated, or these people live in the future. There is a disjoint there, that’s for sure, with the present moment slipping through everyone’s typing fingers.
The speech by Penny Power, the founder of Ecademy, inspired me to work on my own ‘personalised brand’, on being myself online. Not selling, not profiting, but attracting friends with content, ideas, beliefs, dialogue, language. Internet is not a selling market. It’s a platform of care, friendship and support – this is the philanthropic interpretation of the social media landscape, given by Penny. I fully agree with her that people are attracted to to sincerity, authenticity, care, passion and expertise. Social media creates therefore an opportunity for humanity.
I will keep my diaries in the drawer, with golden locks closed upon them, and open up to a new kind of a diary, a blog. Hopefully it will not get dusted and I will not loose the keys. Either way, the password can always be reset, the words deleted. There is something very liberating in the lack of the smell of lavender, beautiful paper in front of us, and the button ‘delete’ at hand. Nothing is final, it’s a journay, I hope you will join me and I will join you in it.