Take Control of Your Own Story!

In a data-driven world, you must create your own story. Don’t let an algorithm write it for you.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD


Many of my friends and colleagues aren’t active on social media. They consume avidly, but they see posting stories as a waste of time or worse.

“Why does anyone want to share their private information with the world? Privacy matters!”

“No one would be interested in my story.”

“I’ve got better things to do with my time. And isn’t looking at the screen too long bad for your eyes?”

For a long time, I had a similar view. I didn’t think being active on social media was relevant. I focused on writing and publishing scientific articles. Scholarly stuff.

Everything related to social media wasn’t serious. It was fake — full of pretenders.

And storytelling? That was a joke. It would only hurt my reputation. And it certainly didn’t count as academic output for any work-related evaluation.

Boy was I wrong! And now, I often regret that I wasn’t a social media first-mover.

But there is some good news. It’s never too late to get started.

So, here is the story of my conversion from skeptic to social media evangelist and why I now believe everyone should be getting smarter about telling their story online.

From Zero to Consumer to Creator

Some of my students convinced me to do more on social media. “Your lectures are so inspirational; you should share them with a wider audience.”

I started to do some research and quickly found my favorite bloggers, vloggers, curators. A new world opened to me.

At first, I too was happy to be a passive consumer, and then I started to experiment with creating my own content.

I came to realize that social media is a platform for telling a story about yourself and your ideas about the world. It is an opportunity to define yourself and then communicate that version of yourself to the world.

What kind of information and message do you want to convey? What kind of dialogue do you want to start? What is…



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.