Edited by Criselda Caringal
According to a generic “Josh Burton” search on Google, I’m a dead NASCAR driver, an animator and star pianist.
Whoops. Wrong Josh Burton.
My dad’s side of me would be insanely proud his son was so invisible on the net. Less personal info for spammers and hackers to access and less for the government to track. Routine privacy concerns, you know?
The other side of me–the soon-to-be-ASU-alum-looking-for-a-job-and-quick! me–is a little disappointed this investigation turned up sparse information about the right Josh Burton. Several more refined searches did the trick. Throwing in keywords like “ASU“, “Cronkite” and “Reporter“, I found my portfolio, several blogs and every article I’ve ever written. At least “online me” isn’t a total loss–employers and sources would probably use the same keywords to research.
Online me” has changed a lot over the years, especially over the past several months as I’ve begun to re-brand myself as I mentally transition from what I thought would be a career in broadcast journalism to being more of an indie filmmaker and globe trekker.
A much younger me spent half his waking hours on social media doing random personality quizzes, Mafia and snooping on exes and had a tough time at it–FOMO and all. Since that overkill I’ve learned to keep the online community at a arm’s length. (Un)fortunately(?), it’s getting more and more unrealistic to job search and function as a journalist without a broad and constantly-updated social media presence. Upgrading from an ancient smart phone helped but I’m still struggling to break the patterns of my social media hermitude. The difference between a prescription and a poison is the dose, and I’m still learning the difference.
Online branding could very well land me a job. Considering my international ambitions, I’m determined not to miss the opportunity. Though it’s harder to be “present” in my digital avatar, it’s worth the effort. Will I open up all my profiles to the world? Nope. Will I become an Instagram #celebrity or Twitter royalty? Probably not. Can I craft a brand built around my personality and unique talents? Give me a good reason why not!