About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The risks of blogging and commenting on blogs.

This morning I decided to google myself. It's something I do routinely, mainly out of curiosity. It's always good to know what others can find out about you online. And when I say others, I mean acquaintances, co-workers, your boss, dating prospects, your ex, even future employers. Not that my life is all that exciting. You won't find out any juicy secrets about me online.

The google search was largely uneventful; it found websites that listed where I work, even though the information is consistently out-of-date and I haven't worked for those employers for many years. It's easy to contact those websites and have them remove the inaccurate profile from their database. The other thing that the search engine found were comments I had posted on a frugal/couponing blog, and some comments I'd posted on a diabetes-related Facebook fan page. Not really a big deal, but...

I guess I still get a little creeped out about privacy online (and really, that you should expect to have none). Having a blog, I have a lower level of expectation of privacy, considering anyone can read it. But nowadays, when you apply for a new job, employers/recruiters google your name to see what comes up. I realized that it was possible for potential employers to find out I have diabetes before ever deciding whether to call me for an interview and maybe I wouldn't get the call for an interview that I might have otherwise received. Sure, employers aren't supposed to discriminate based on that; there are laws to protect us from that. But really, in the early phases of applying for a job, how would you ever find that out? Or maybe they see I'm frugal and commenting on frugal-focused websites and won't like that, either. Who knows where their prejudices may lie or what conclusions they will draw about you. It concerned me enough that I deleted the comments I'd posted that were showing up when I googled my name. I guess it's that desire to want to control what information the entire world can find out about me before I'm ready for them to know it.

So why worry what a google search will produce, when I already have a public blog dedicated to talking about T1 and celiac? For me, the difference is that if you are reading this blog, titled Diabetes and Celiac Sunshine, it's because you already have the expectation that I have a relationship to diabetes and celiac disease. It's a different story when someone googles my name and finds it out that way. They may be surprised because they had no expectation of what the search engine would produce; and for a potential employer, it could have a negative impact.

I guess that's the risk you take when you have a blog or have your name attached to any social media. For me, this blog has enabled me to meet others who are affected by diabetes and/or celiac disease, from which I have benefited greatly, and in exchange, I accept that there are risks that could negatively impact me.

I just wondered if anyone else that either has a blog, or comments on blogs, ever worries about this too?


  1. Great post, Nikki. I've pondered that for some time, with my D-blog and trying to comment on those other blogs out there in the community. Being in the newspaper business where my name's already public, and just by having a D-blog that can be found by Google searches, I'm not that concerned about blog comments. Basically, my comments aren't taboo and over the line and I'm OK with them being out there in the public realm. If a potential employer ever wanted to screen me out as a result of my blog or comments, then I'm probably better off for not working there (hi, potential employers reading this in the future!!). Always something to keep in mind, nowadays more than a few years ago when blogging and social media was just getting off the ground. There's no reason to put yourself out there if you have the concern. Thanks for writing this, my friend!

  2. Short answer: yes. :) I didn't use my full name on my blog for the first 8 or so months I was writing, for that very reason. Over time I've realized that the career I want is going to be diabetes-centric anyway, and because of that I'm comfortable using the full name.

    One note, though - as far as I know, everything online is indexed, so even deleting comments doesn't completely "erase" them. Just a thought as you go along. :)

  3. Hi Nikki,

    That's a great post and raises a number of interesting issues. I also wonder what effect my blog, which discusses not only diabetes but depression as well, will have on future job prospects. I'm hoping that it won't be a major issue with the direction I'd like my career to go in the future, much as Kim said.

    Now, in theory, it might be possible to remove much of the information I've posted from the web, google caches and other places. But it would take a lot of work, a lot of time and there is no guarantee that something still wouldn't come to the surface.

    So, my genie is out of the bottle so to speak and I'm just hoping for the best!

  4. No, I can't say I worry about it-same as Michael, since I don't post snarky comments! ; ) But..it's not me with diabetes, it's my daughter..so, I think I'd feel differently if it was me. I do write about other stuff though, and sometimes wonder who is reading! ; ) Could come back to haunt me...heehee : )

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