Public personas in the crossfire

I’ve spoken elsewhere of the way that grad-student life can crowd out real human connections, interests, and awareness. While life as a postdoc seems better, I’ve discovered a new, longer-term struggle around human connections and academics. This post is to apologize for the cross-chatter of research that you’ll see if you follow me in mixed-company social networks (presently, Twitter).

The academic is a sole entrepreneur, treading water in the sea until you catch enough driftwood to build your own boat. Well, it doesn’t need to be that isolating, but the stakes are as high and the self-reliance as complete. Communicating one’s work is a part of the job that has no clean boundaries.

When I post about research, it isn’t meant for most of my friends, and it isn’t a reflection of my passions outside of work. I do it as a signal to the academic world, and my public persona gets caught in the crossfire.

I will keep posting my non-work (read: non-academia) life here, at least at the trickle I have been. If you do want both, or to do your own filtering, feel free to follow my Food for Thought blog, which automatically draws from both the social and research streams.

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