On the Trail of My Digital Footprint

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.

– Virginia Woolf.

Scattering my digital footprint around the internet was an shaky thought when I began my blog. If you have a blog, you probably know what I mean.

During the first few months I timidly only wrote recipes and about the food itself. These posts where accompanied by horrid food photographs. You can confirm this yourself if you dare to look through my archives. After a while, I found that this was terribly boring. One day I wrote about piano music. Lighting did not strike me, I did not turn into a toad, the world did not end. So I wrote more and more, realising that I was leaving behind that dreaded trail of my digital footprint.

Why was my digital footprint so scary to me?

At that time I was an unexperienced blogger and had no idea in which direction my blog was going to naturally lead itself. It’s personal so I wanted it to reflect me. Also, I did not want any of my potential future employers to find it.

It’s not so scary now. What changed since then?

With regards to these potential future employers, well I’ll probably have a few more of those in my life, though one day I would like to open my own business. Keep waiting though, that day is still very far. Plus, I’m not bothered anymore about the what if these people find my blog part.

With regards to the writing in itself, with the exception of my interview with Garfield, I don’t write fiction. My topics can be as vast and strange as, for example, betel nut chewing in Papua New Guinea or my personal thoughts on the Sultan of Brunei and his Sharia laws. The problem here is that when voicing issues like this, if I don’t give hints about who I am, you might think I’m a bit bonkers. However, knowing that I’ve lived in eight countries until now, with Papua New Guinea and Brunei included, helps justify my writing about these topics. It explains why I can drone on about cultural differences. Knowing bits and pieces about me, like I have studied pharmacy, play the piano, which city I live in, the fact that I am a woman and my approximate age all give me the authority to write over my sometimes bizarre points of view.

However, if I were to write about car racing or fishing in Denmark, I would probably fail in the attempt.

I have a friend who has a secret blog. No, I do not know the name of her blog. Not even her husband knows it. Perhaps she writes fiction, I don’t know. Sure I toyed with the idea of making a secret blog, but now I realise that it wouldn’t be right for me. What would I be able to write about there? Absolutely anything! But it might not make sense to me or anyone else.

This is why I’m not so scared about my digital footprint anymore. Letting you know a bit about me explains the rationale over what I write about. Oh yeah, you also get to see some of my food here.

I am interested in knowing your thoughts on your digital footprint? It would also be interesting to see if our age influences our perceptions. Perhaps the younger generations who naturally grew up with the internet and social media aren’t so picky. Or perhaps they are. Please let me know.

Thank you for reading!

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  1. Amanda 2014-06-05 at 23:06

    I actually started with a secret blog. It’s a secret fiction blog. But then I started mine under a fake name, and then I started just being myself. I don’t overshare, but give enough of myself for people to know how I am and relate, even if they don’t know exactly “who” I am. It makes you wonder what it really means to know someone vs. knowing what someone is like…Food for thought as always! un beso.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-06 at 09:36

      Really? I think it would be easier to start a fiction blog in a completely anonymous way than a blog with opinions. I actually started my blog under a fake name, but that only lasted for about 48 hours and then I changed it to my real name because I was feeling an identity crisis, lol. I think you do a great job of sharing but not over sharing. A bit of mystery is always attractive 😉 Un beso!

  2. Sunny 2014-06-05 at 23:27

    Oh this is a deeep topic. So when I first started mine, I kept it from everyone I know for a couple of months. I wasn’t sure what the blog was going to be (it became a beauty blog. It didn’t really start out as one), and I wasn’t sure if I’d keep doing it. That’s why I didn’t feel the need to tell people about it. I also didn’t want to do FOTDs, because I wanted to stay anonymous. At some point, my desire to share got the better of me, and I started showing my face. I eventually told most of my friends about it as well. I think it’s hard to draw the line between what you share and what you don’t share on the blog. On the one hand, I want to come across as a real person. On another, I don’t want to overshare. I guess by now I’m sharing an amount that makes me feel both genuine and comfortable.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-06 at 09:51

      I love your blog so I hope you’re happy with the direction it took. I think I’ve also reached my equilibrium on what I’m happy to share and what not. I think you do a great job with that. Even if you show your face but don’t explain everything, there’s still a lot of mystery,.. and I’m sure everyones likes mysteries. That’s true, when we come across as a real person it feels more genuine.
      With beauty blogs, I prefer to read reviews from blogs that seem like a real person wrote it, than from professional magazines where what is written is a statement by the cosmetic company/ publicity agency, and whoever pays most gets the biggest exposure. If I’m going to spend my euros on a product, I prefer to know what a real person thinks about it. The fact that you are so pretty (and your cats so cute) help too! xx

  3. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-06-06 at 00:27

    I totally understand about the “digital footprint.” As you probably already know, I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with technology. Part of it is I because am older (I’m 62) and from another generation where talking face-to-face is just more personal and more immediate. Sometimes I wish, I yearn, for a return to the so-called “good old days” which were not really good, when you think of the bigotry and the narrow-mindedness. But we still have that even today. Sigh, we have so far to go. But I digress. The upside to technology is that I can reach my friends who are all over the world–I can’t believe that I can actually say that. I actually have such GOOD friends all over the world–Mexico, Spain, Italy–and so connecting digitally is so much more CONVENIENT. And the bottom line is that technology is just one more CONVENIENCE in our lives, to go along with so many others: telephones, televisions, electricity, etcetera, ad infinitum. Oh, and by the way, Sofia, did you mean to say future employers instead of employees? Just wondering…

    P.S. I love your blog and happy that you are leaving your digital footprint here and there…

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-06 at 00:39

      I did mean employers and just changed it. Thanks 🙂 Sometimes I write too fast. You’re right that all the technology helps us keep in touch with people far away. My brother lives on another continent and we communicate just about every day, thats cool. It’s so much easier to keep on touch than before with traditional mails! Gracias I’m glad you enjoy my blog as I enjoy making it 🙂 And I really enjoy chatting with you here, thanks to my mum!

  4. Michelle 2014-06-06 at 02:38

    It is funny how people (myself included) start out being really coy while blogging. But, if they keep doing it, they’ll start sharing more. Because, really, you quickly learn that the best thing about it is learning about other people. (But don’t get me started on the OVER-sharing that goes on among the old folks on Facebook. The kids have a much better idea how to behave!)

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-06 at 09:53

      You’ve said it, I think we all begin coy and realise that the best is learning from others. But for that they need to learn from use too 🙂 Hahaha come to think of it, yes, sometimes the things I see on FB by the older folks, I think: no, you can’t share that here 🙂 xx

  5. Dalo 2013 2014-06-06 at 06:03

    This is a great topic & post Sofia. I started my blog with a lot of fear of putting anything “out there” and still consider this when I do post or comment ~ although in the end I do not worry much. But to start a blog was a very strange experience ~ I did not tell anyone and if it was something that could grow, so be it. Now it is something I enjoy ~ and the community experience is a big reason why. Leaving a digital footprint is a little nerve wracking, however 🙂

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-06 at 09:58

      Oh yeah, even though I have less fear now, I still do have some fear. At the end of the day, if we leave a digital footprint as we genuinely are and on interesting topics (and we are not horrible people), I think there should be nothing to fear. I also think, gosh if someone were to “investigate” me though my blog starting today, they would have to go through so much reading and see way to much food photos and recipes, nah, they wouldn’t bother. Hopefully they would get hungry and some point and go raid their fridge instead 😉

      1. Dalo 2013 2014-06-07 at 00:23

        I guess that is how I feel too… Always want to be sure I do represent myself truthfully, and if I do that then I have no worries. Also, I figure if someone wants to go digging through my stuff, let them as everything I’ve done is who I am. 🙂

        It is interesting, though, how the blog is reflective of the individual…for example, I think I “know” you better than some people I have worked with for years because of your writing and showing a genuine side of who you are… I think that is both the powerful and a little fearful part of blogging. Wish you a glorious weekend 🙂

        1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-07 at 21:20

          Oh in the past I’ve been terribly introvert when it comes to most of my work colleagues (not so much now) so you definitely know more about me than many people who have worked with me for years. Yes, it is the glorious and fearful part of blogging. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

      1. Dalo 2013 2014-06-07 at 00:25

        🙂 Well, we’ve gotten to know each other and that has been for the good ~ one of the nice surprising aspects of blogging. Cheers!

  6. Mabel Kwong 2014-06-06 at 11:56

    “what if these people find my blog part.” For a long, long time, I worried about this, worried that it would jeorpadise my chances of getting a job. You would think it’s funny, given I’m part of Gen-Y. The more I blogged and wrote, the more I realised writing is a part of me, who I am and if someone doesn’t like that part of me, that’s their problem and I would think them very judgmental. Today, I even have my blog and blog stats on my CV. Accept me for who I am.

    Like you, overtime I came to share more about myself on my blog. At first I decided to write only about non-fiction cultural stuff…then of late changed my tune to writinb more about “cheesy but thoughtful parts of life” with more personal anecdotes incorporated. I love your food and piano posts, and when you talk about your experiences it makes your stories so much more relatable 🙂

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-07 at 21:17

      Really you put your log in your CV, that’s something, but then you’re blog is different and more appropriately so. I don’t think mine has anything to do with what I do… Hahaha sharing cheesy thoughts, you’re so cute! Thanks Mabel for your kind words, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

      1. Mabel Kwong 2014-06-08 at 14:47

        Yeah, I put my blog on my CV in the extra-activities/interests section, calling it a multicultural blog. Your blog is great, so much good food recipes everywhere. You could call it a food and culture blog if you do one day put it on your CV.

        Cheesy…yes, that is me 😉 Have a good week ahead, Sofia!

  7. pianolearner 2014-06-08 at 21:31

    I’m so glad you starting talking about pianos as well as food, otherwise without the piano tag (which I just happened to be searching for) I would not have met you and my life would have been the poorer for it.

    I keep my name private, as did my wife on her blog wellywoman, but after 2 years of blogging she “outed” herself by writing a book.
    I like the mystery of having no public name, and it’s nice for people who do know it to feel like they are ‘In the Know’.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-06-09 at 08:55

      Oh how sweet, I’m glad to have met you too as my life would have been poorer too (and I may not have Wellywomans beautiful book should I not have heard of it…).
      I put my first name just because I needed to identify myself to myself (sounds weird I know). I’ve never put my surname on my blog. Though I know with email exchanges and with the emails for monthly ingredient challenge party they know my surname, no secrets there haha.
      Yes she outed herself and you as you are extremely well mentioned in the thank you part of the book 🙂


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