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Who know about your interst in Lego?

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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Bluesecrets » Tue May 14, 2013 9:46 pm

To continue to add to what I said and what Bruce added on with, some professions are in need of a separation of professional and personal life. If you can't think of any, well have a few moments of thinking about why an adult might want to keep their professional life out of a hobby that is with a child's toy, and you might find a few. But besides that...there are always great and amazing things to do in the AFOL community that one may want to take a day off, and that may be frowned upon by one's employer.

But I fully support the idea of having an online identity that is separate from your real life. It is your choice who you let into your private life. I would like to live in the happy life of knowing that scary and bad people don't exist...but unfortunately, they do. And they do online. There is nothing wrong at all with keeping an identity yours. If you need to feel safe that way, feel safe. Trust who you want to trust.

There is another aspect, some people, and I am not naming names here...online are just totally different than they are in person. Some people think that they can say ANYTHING online without any repercussions for their actions. I read an article saying that online is like junior high, bullies run wild and there is no fear. Of course there isn't, who is going to sit behind you and remind you to "play nice" while you are on a computer? If you go around online with your real name, and you post all kinds of things that would be deemed inappropriate, rude, and socially unacceptable, well your real life may easily have some problems because of it. We all know people who got fired or lost a job over something dumb they posted online.

Please understand that I am not ashamed of my FFOL status. I'm a proud builder, community member, con attendee, staff member, as well as an ambassador...but one who has learned the privacy is something to be treasured, valued, and fought for. But this is MY life...and I choose who gets access to parts of my life. LEGO is my hobby, my fun, my escape...and that means I get to be picky about who gets to play in my fun time and who doesn't. For who wants people in their fun who suck the fun out of it?
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Bruce N H » Tue May 14, 2013 10:17 pm

Hey,

I just wanted to clarify a little on what I said before. I'm not saying that anything posted on a hobby forum is bad, or that people would think it particularly negative, it's just about managing your public profile. Let's say you are a partner in a law firm, and you are seeking to hire either candidate A or B. They both, as it happens, are huge sports fans, which is neither here nor there as regards to their jobs, and it's not a hobby that anyone would even think frivolous, but B posts constantly on various sports-themed message boards under his real name. Okay, back to the hiring decision - from their resumes they look similar, both having gone to good schools and gotten good grades, and both have positive letters of recommendation. So you just do a quick Google on them, and here's what you find as the first five hits:
A: two different articles they wrote for their school's law journal, a letter to the editor of their local paper clarifying something related to a legal case currently in the news, their Linked In page citing all of their legal connections, a news story from their university paper citing their appearance in a moot court
B: five different posts on sports-themed online forums
So, you've got nothing else to go on. Who do you hire? You might be a huge sports fan yourself, and root for all of the same teams as candidate B, but you're probably still going to go with candidate A. And that's why I suggest managing your online profile. Of course if your name is John Smith it won't matter, since there are so many different ones out there, but if you're Johan Smithkowski, you're likely the only one. (Quick Google search turns up only a Johann Smetkowsky on Ancestry.com, btw.)

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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Eklund » Wed May 15, 2013 1:28 am

Nice topic, Frisky.

I wouldn't say I am too public about my hobby, but many people do know that I am a lego fan. Most of my closer friends know, either because I have shown them my mocs, pestered them to buy their collections, or both. I think it is kind of funny when I first mention it, because most think it is a bit weird. Then, I actually show them my mocs, and they usually have instant respect for the hobby. I remember one time when I showed a couple of my classmates one of my models, and pretty soon the whole class was over looking at it. Most of them said that they thought it was pretty cool. Occasionally, I will show some of my friends a cool pop-culture model that someone has made that I know they will like.

Thanks for the advice, Bruce and Blue. Many of us TFOLs don't think a lot about the possible future repercussions of posting too much personal info online. It is a good thing to keep in mind as we approach our professional careers.
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Karalora » Wed May 15, 2013 1:49 am

Family, friends, coworkers...I don't exactly keep it a secret.
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Athos » Wed May 15, 2013 4:34 am

Everyone who comes in my office sees my Constellation (http://brickset.com/detail/?set=10021-1) set proudly displayed on my shelves. A few of my co-workers have also been treated to a visit to my Lego room. I'm fairly open about my interest in Lego and most people know.

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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Kosh » Thu May 16, 2013 4:15 pm

I would say Bruce and BlueSecrets have some very good points. I'd like to echo Bruce's theme of 'It's more about managing your hobby related identity than hiding it'. I know if I'm active online I cannot hide but I can have some semblance of privacy. If somebody wants to dig hard and spend both time and money eventually they can find out just about anyone's identity, true internet privacy doesn't really exist as Fraslund mentioned. That's where I'm now comfortable at online.
Do people at work know I'm into LEGO? yep, but it's not the primary focus of my work related life. Have I talked to hundreds of people at shows while helping out at the LUG display? yep. I can see a number professions where putting a firewall between your hobby life professional one would be wise. I'm closer to Blue's side of the identity equation than Bruce's but also feel people are free to divulge as much or as little personal information as they see fit.
I *DO* suggest that you ponder how much information you put out on the 'net BEFORE doing so knowing that it'll be out there longer than you'll be alive...
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby friskywhiskers » Fri May 17, 2013 3:15 am

Thank you so much for all your thoughts, guys. To clarify, I was primarily talking about people who you interact with on a daily basis not your life in the internet, but I appreciate the advice given from blue and Bruce.
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Bluesecrets » Fri May 17, 2013 10:59 am

The advice I gave, applies both online and off. There will always be people in your real life that you don't want to share parts of yourself with. A hobby is nothing to be ashamed of, not at all. But often one's peers do not understand or respect this hobby. But then I think that can be said for any hobby. It is all a matter of what you want people to know and why you want them to know, which is a personal decision.

For me, as I have said, this is my hobby and fun. I am careful about who is let into it, because I do this for relaxation and fun. Not because I need to brag or show off anything I build. It's for me. So sure some people know I build, but only in a very general sense. They've never seen what I've built and never will. I have others who know me as the LEGO chick who can tell them what to get for their kids and where. The friends I have who aren't into LEGO, well I do other things with them and feel no need to bring them into my hobby.

I think the answer to your question goes back to a simple question. If your hobby was something else, say making collecting matchbox cars, would you talk about that hobby with people who you don't share it with or do you find yourself a group of people who share the hobby and enjoy it with them?
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby richardanthonyc » Sat May 18, 2013 7:09 am

Took me a while but now nearly everyone I know is aware that I collect Lego. The majority think it is really cool and loves seeing my armies assembled :lol: however sometimes it can be a negative thing also, in my case my wife is practically embarrassed that I collect lego and her family are of the same mindset (though none of them have hobbies and generally have boring lives :P)
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon May 20, 2013 4:01 pm

richardanthonyc wrote:my wife is practically embarrassed that I collect lego and her family are of the same mindset (though none of them have hobbies and generally have boring lives)
Sheesh. Not to dump on your wife and her family, but god forbid someone have an out-of-the-norm hobby! Would they rather you collect coins or stamps? Because those are just as nerdy and a million times more boring. I equate AFOLs as similar to model train enthusiasts in that you're playing with what is essentially a kids toy but also building advanced layouts and dioramas that most kids would never be able to accomplish. Yet, while model train hobbyists are generally well accepted (at least that's my perception), it seems like AFOLs are by and large a lot less understood.
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby Fraslund » Mon May 20, 2013 5:55 pm

richardanthonyc wrote:Took me a while but now nearly everyone I know is aware that I collect Lego. The majority think it is really cool and loves seeing my armies assembled :lol: however sometimes it can be a negative thing also, in my case my wife is practically embarrassed that I collect lego and her family are of the same mindset (though none of them have hobbies and generally have boring lives :P)


That is where I am lucky. We actually went to London years back with my mother in law and my wife's brother and sister specifically to see the LoTR exhibit. They are huge Tolkien fans and love the stuff I build. I even got my father in law building the Architecture sets and he bought the Sopwith Camel as well.

The only comment I get a lot is Wow that must cost a lot.... :roll:
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby richardanthonyc » Tue May 21, 2013 8:52 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:
richardanthonyc wrote:my wife is practically embarrassed that I collect lego and her family are of the same mindset (though none of them have hobbies and generally have boring lives)
Sheesh. Not to dump on your wife and her family, but god forbid someone have an out-of-the-norm hobby! Would they rather you collect coins or stamps? Because those are just as nerdy and a million times more boring. I equate AFOLs as similar to model train enthusiasts in that you're playing with what is essentially a kids toy but also building advanced layouts and dioramas that most kids would never be able to accomplish. Yet, while model train hobbyists are generally well accepted (at least that's my perception), it seems like AFOLs are by and large a lot less understood.

Yeah train collectors are a lot more accepted. My boys will both love Lego and she will see how great it is for the family eventually ;)
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby AK_Brickster » Tue May 21, 2013 9:01 pm

Ah, a war of attrition! I love it! :twisted:
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby nanuck95 » Thu May 23, 2013 3:19 am

Generally, most of my family knows my hobby and occasionally I will post my creations to my facebook page so family/friends can see it (since most people outside the LEGO community don't check my flickr page). As an adult, when I first got back into it, I think people thought it was a little silly, until they started seeing what I, and others were building. I explain that it's like art, instead of paint or modeling clay, I use small plastic bricks and people generally get it. I think as a teen, I would probably feel the same way that you do, anything that can be perceived by other kids as "not cool" or silly brings some risk of ridicule. If I could tell my 15 year old self some advice now, I would say "just ignore them, who cares what they think because in a couple of years you'll probably never see most of them again", but I know that's easier said than done.

As far as the suggestions about keeping an online identity as a low profile, I generally agree that it is probably better to keep your real name out of it. Personally, I have a fairly common name so I didn't worry about it too much. I think it's very, very, very important to remember that once you post something online, it's pretty much forever. It's also not just what you post, but when you post it (ie, are all of your facebook updates during working hours when you're supposed to be at work?) However, I do think a prospective employer running across your flickr stream may not be as bad as people make it out to be. Especially if your employer is looking for creative people who think outside the box. (I guess this kind of depends on what you build and what may be in your flickr stream). Let's just say I've changed jobs several times in the last few years and I've never had any issues with my hobby preventing me from getting a job. I would be very careful, but as long as you have nothing to be ashamed of, I wouldn't worry about it too much either.
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Re: Who know about your interst in Lego?

Postby ultrapaladin » Fri May 24, 2013 12:14 am

Very interesting topic. All of my friends that I have known since we were children know about my interest in LEGO (we all used to play together as kids), but I was the only one to take it a step further as we grew up.

My current profession is literally 100% the alpha male type. Geekiness is not understood at all, and I would probably never be seen the same ever again if my hobbies got out. I know there are others with interests like me, we just never bring them up when we are with our other peers.
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