They say it isn’t what you say but how you say it, and that actions speak louder than words, but in an age where technology is growing increasingly potent and influential, the question is whether to have a strong online presence, or not. I had an interesting debate with my Godfather the last time I was staying with him in Germany. He was convinced that Facebook was a negative element of everyday life, and stored an alarming amount of information. He’s right about the latter, but interestingly, he has a Facebook account nonetheless. I continued to explain that Facebook, while housing a great deal of knowledge about you (that you wilfully provide when enthusiastically filling in your ‘about me’ section instead of writing an essay) enables me, and others, to keep in contact with those they may not see everyday. More instant than letter writing, though I’m an avid pen pal to many, Facebook allows you to message, comment, poke, and ‘like’ all elements of a person’s online life. He accepted this fact, but insisted on the knowledge that I realise just how much Facebook ‘knows’ about me, and to be careful of a strong online presence. However, when you’re an aspiring writer and journalist like myself, having a strong online presence is not necessarily a bad thing. To put yourself out there is a daunting prospect, however in the writing industry it is a necessity, especially with the boom of blogging, online newspapers, and websites continuing to pound. In an interview for my travel writing internship, my (now) boss complimented me on my strong online presence. He had googled me prior to our interview, and was impressed at how obviously president I was in the World Wide Web. Be it reviews or articles for my University website, or my personal blog, he could see that I didn’t waste time on Facebook (well not all the time, anyway). This was encouraging, albeit a little scary how much of me was on the net. Even when I write this post now, my words that I type surrounded by poetry books will be placed in an online space until it disappears alongside the Internet or when the apocalypse begins, though I’m certain a few people would suggest that both would equate to the same thing. I know for a fact that once these words have been embedded on this page that you now read, I will have broadcasted it via Twitter and Facebook, and various social media. Being present online, does not mean that you are no longer present offline, and in the real wide world. You can, and could, do both. It depends how much time you wish to invest in online you, and offline you. Having a strong online presence can have its downfalls however, some of which include being easily searched and having a lot of things that people could keep ‘tabs’ on you. It’s up to you. Teacher friends of mine change their names on their online accounts so that their students cannot locate them online…professional and definitely a requirement when you’re in the teaching profession. If you’re present online on twitter and have various companies ‘following’ you and your whereabouts, you need to be sure you don’t say or tweet (limited in 140 characters, admittedly) anything that could harm your job, etc, else you can bet your bottom dollar they will be ‘following’ it up with a P45… If you’re a strong online presence, for whatever reason, if you go quiet for a couple of days, people will most likely notice. It’s like when I don’t smile for two seconds, I’m bombarded with ‘what’s wrong?’, “are you okay? TELL ME!” when the answer simply is ‘my cheeks are aching…’ if I were to go off Facebook for two days, I know I’d get wall posts plastered across my timeline with the words “where have you gone?” and the like. I’m not the most popular person on the planet, but if you have a strong presence, when you’re absent, the void is incredibly obvious and pertinent. After all, if you left school, college, university, or college, I’m sure there would be a void left from your absence, would there not? Online life isn’t all that different in this sense.