My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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internship, health and sanity

So, i officially took an internship for the summer yesterday. I will be working for Blogger (Google). I’m still figuring out what i will be doing, but it’s a great way to build on the new blogging ethnography that i’ve been doing. And i’m *SUPER* psyched.

Over the last two months, i did a lot of thinking about my life, reflecting on the last semester. I was running on speed mode and i paid a price for it. By the time i hit Tokyo, i was having blackouts every day from the lack of muscles in my back causing my fractured neck to spasm and crush those little discs. I was taking more Aleve than vitamins. Not good. My body was a wreck.

I looked around at the people who were also on the speed-track with me. They too were a physical wreck. It was a scary scary thing to realize that i was going to kill myself if i kept this up. Furthermore, i realized that i wasn’t being nearly as productive as i used to be because i was always exhausted and caffeine/sugar-cracked-out in order to keep going. I had no focus, no sanity, etc.

When i thought about what i needed to do, i realized that the most important thing to do would be to focus on one thing, do it well, but calm the fuck down and focus on getting healthy again. I decided that i needed to stay home in San Francisco for the summer. Nothing was more appealing than a 9-5 (a.k.a. 10-8) schedule.

When Google approached me, i felt as though somewhere in the universe, someone was prepared to help me get my shit together. A research project directly in line with what i love with a team full of the coolest, kindest folks at a company with massage therapists, a fully-functional physical therapy-style gym, physical therapists, pilates, organic food, etc. and a pay that will let me survive grad school. My biggest concern was having to drive, but Google even solved that, offering a shuttle from Glen Park.

I am so beyond thankful.

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12 comments to internship, health and sanity

  • Cool! Good luck at the position, and congratulations. And enjoy the great benefits.

  • srl

    Congratulations. When you’re done with the sweet benefits, export some of them back East for us. 🙂

  • Congratulations, danah, for landing both the job and the wisdom of loving yourself at the same time. I learned the lesson of running non-stop until you drop the VERY hard way. The pre-req for being successful is being alive.

    May you always love your life!

  • This is going to sound lame but I thought I’d do it anyway. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and I must say that you are one of the mose intriguing people I have read on the Internet. Your insights, your papers, and your passion for social networking is just so, so….attractive.

    If I didn’t live a thousand miles away, was a little older, and had a better career I’d ask for your hand in marriage. You are truly a phenomenol person…well judging by your blog anyway. Although that is no real way to judge a person.

    Keep it up, and good luck at Blogger. Look out for Biz and Evan, they seem like wiley cats to me.

  • Reading this does my heart good. Not only because I’m glad to see things fall into place for you, but because it gives me hope for my own nutty situation.

    Congrats to you.

  • Congrats and good luck with the internship!

  • As another pseudo lurker who feels has learned TONS from reading your blog- congratulations on your new opportunity! It makes me happy to see kind people being kind to themselves.

  • I just wanted to say thanks so much to everyone for such kind words. It means so much to me after a rough semester.

  • I haven’t been in here in a long while.. so much to catch up on! Congratulations on the internship danah, that is so awesome.

  • Wow. Super news. We love Blogger! How exciting and interesting. Good luck. Hope you manage to stay focused on getting fit and healthy again so you can enjoy life to the full.

  • jack

    Remember the calm part. Therein lies the answer. Ask Case.

  • Eric Kristoff

    Congrats on the gig. Semi-unrelated : try Orudis KT instead of Aleve. Over the counter, IMO far superior to Aleve. Worked wonders for my neck problems. Tough to find – may need to order from your pharmacist or online. Goood luck.