DML2016: 2 years on.

How the heck was this two years ago?

DML2016 marked an important moment at the beginning of my PhD. I actually missed a few lectures because of it, but never mind… I caught up. It was a moment I stood up to a room of hundreds (and a potential online audience of thousands) and admitted that I had an incurable and not very glamorous illness. I went from getting people to laugh, to feeling shock and sympathy within a matter of minutes. I told my story as a means to share my message around privacy and how much of our lives can be inferred from our online actions.

So what’s changed since then? Well, for one I have survived 2 years of my PhD. I received an award from the Internet Society just one year later; I’ve written for the Internet Society; I spoke at an Internet Society event; I delivered workshops and spoke at an Educational Conference and now I am doing a three month internship at the University of Cambridge. They’re all pretty big deals right? While all those accomplishments are wonderful and look amazing down on paper all together, I do feel like my attitude has changed slightly.

Before I was paranoid and sceptical (there I said it). And don’t get me wrong I still am to a certain extent, but I am finding that I need to channel my enthusiasm into working out what the real questions I need to be asking are, rather than just blowing my horn about the ridiculous state everything is in.

This really is just a bit of a reflection piece, nothing profound at all. Sometimes it’s worth taking a moment just to look back and see how far you’ve come.


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