Eric Stoller's blog

| higher education consulting |

Who I am


Eric Stoller

I’ve had numerous friends and family members who have unsubscribed or even flat out refused to read my blog. The reason given was usually that they didn’t agree with me. Some folks have even told me that they are afraid that if they read my blog that our friendship will cease to function/exist. My posts were too radical. Too many posts on social justice, higher education and technology.

I was thinking about how my blog is, not always, but sometimes, an insightful window into who I am. My writing lets you know who I am. By saying to me that you don’t want to read my blog because of what I write about, are you also saying that you don’t really want to know who I am? The complete me is something that you resist knowing? I am okay if you don’t want to read because you think my blog isn’t very good or that you disagree with my thoughts. I think most bloggers are okay with that.

I remember when my mom and my brother unsubscribed from my blog’s automatic email function. I was okay with them not agreeing with my posts, but I was concerned that they stopped reading. My brother might be reading via RSS. However, I am fairly certain that my mom just stopped reading. It felt like they didn’t want to know who I am. They wanted an incomplete me. A more palatable me.

I place who I am on this blog. If you refuse to read my blog, it feels like you really don’t want to know me. Who I am. Please don’t read if you don’t want to, but don’t tell me that you don’t read in order to maintain some sort of false sense of me.

Written by Eric Stoller

September 16th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

  • bint alshamsa

    Anyone who doesn’t read your blog doesn’t truly understand the value of it. Your words are important. They show you stand for something. In this world, it seems like most people aren’t really willing to commit themselves to anything–a view, a cause, a relationship. Some people may not want to be reminded that they are not brave enough to do what you do here. Instead of working through that, maybe they choose to take the easy road and just stop reading so that they can pretend that everyone else thinks and behaves just like them.

    I really admire bloggers who write under their legal name. It means that you’re willing to stand by what you write here. That shows you have integrity. I don’t know about anyone else but, nothing I’ve seen here has made me want to stop reading. I know that’s no substitute for your family but I just wanted to let you know that there are others out here who would be really sad if you stopped writing.

  • Kevin

    This makes me sad, Eric. I’m glad you’re you, for what it’s worth.

    I’ve come to accept that I will be telling people that racism and sexism and disablism and homophobia are more than just purposeful acts of meanness, that these are ills that are ingrained in us as a society, that pointing out racism or sexism or disablism or homophobia is not to say “ZOMG! you’re the worst person in the world.” It’s institutional; it’s cultural, and once we can finally all grasp that, we might actually start to move forward. Perhaps the language is just too loaded now. Some people can’t hear these terms and not think “you think I’m evil,” even though, for me at least, that’s often not the case. That’s when the pushback happens.

    Regardless, hang in there and keep doing what you do so well.

    P.S. Dude, we really need to chill and have beers together sometime, somehow. There are so many people on the nets whom I feel like life would be a mistake if I never got to meet them in person.

  • cripchick

    ditto to what bint said. i appreciate your writing and am thankful you blog.

    Please don’t read if you don’t want to, but don’t tell me that you don’t read in order to maintain some sort of false sense of me

    it’s amazing what our families ask us to do under this idea sometimes…

  • harrietsdaughter

    Love your blog, what you write and how you don’t waver. Keep it up – we are out here and we want to know you.

  • Kyle James

    I think the important takeaway that I can’t believe people have a hard time with is that it’s ok to disagree. I’m not the most political person but I do get into debates with people and living in South Carolina which is far and away a Red state there are a lot of issues that I flat out disagree with people on. I don’t claim to be Democratic it just seems that my believes align with more with where the Democrats are trying to take the country right now. When we get into a debate about the issues people sometimes just get angry when they can’t change me to their views. I personally think this is stupid, there is nothing wrong with us fundamentally disagreeing on something and still having a discussion which broadens both of our views.

    Bottom line is it’s ok to disagree and if your open minded about it you can learn why others take stands the way they do and ultimately learn to come to an agreement. I don’t always agree with your stance on issues that you make on this blog, but I respect your stand. And as it’s already been said understanding why you feel that way helps be better appreciate the whole situation and better formulate and articulate my stance. Some people are just to narrow minded to see that.

  • Cousin – Toni

    Hi Eric. I must admit I am one who unsubscribed from your blog. Only because I get a lot of emails that distract me from my office work. Especially when I have a limited time to get our company work done. When I have a little extra time, I sit down and go through some sites. I try to make a point to check your blog and Shaun’s page once a week. I am very interested in your life and I really enjoy reading what you and Shaun are up to and viewing the photos. You know I am proud of you and you are an important family member to me whether I subscribe to your blog entries or read it at my own liesure.

  • JettyLS

    Okay, Eric. I am a fifty-six year-old woman who has not ventured into having my own blog. I feel as if I have nothing to say that people want to read. I am so grateful to have found your blog because you make me think. And isn’t that what we ALL need to be doing more of as we go to vote? At every age, every income level, every stage of life. I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, but was just fine in supporting the person who won the primary. Was I angry at certain attitudes and sexism? Yes. I still am. We have a great deal of work to do. Yet I have also admired Senator Obama from the get-go, from the moment he spoke four years ago at the convention. I DO remember turning to my best friend to say, “President. Soon.”

    The issues matter the most. I don’t think Hillary lost because of discrimination. And it doesn’t even MATTER to me. What matters is that we move our country in a different direction that speaks to the issues I care about. And, well, not to feel so alone in that passion.

    I haven’t read all your blogs and I am not sure how you feel about all the issues yet. I don’t CARE whether or not I always agree with you. I am a Democrat, yes. I am, in fact, a left wing, radical, ex-hippie, idealistic, sometimes socialistic wacko. Okie doke. That being said, I recognize the need to be reined in sometimes by more conservative minds. I recognize that this country has worked because of free speech, the free exchange of ideas, balance of powers–all sorts of radical notions like that.

    So thank you for your blog. Thank you for caring about social justice and education. I JUST added you to my automatic e-mail. I am nowhere near technologically literate enough for the future, sometimes, but I think that change is important. That being curious does more for longevity than ANY diet or lifestyle. And challenging one’s INTERNAL status quo makes all the difference in quality of life.

    Please take care. And keep me on my toes.

  • Britt Q.

    But is not the Eric Stoller you present to the world the same Eric Stoller you present in your blog? Can your family and friends still learn, know and maybe accept your political, personal and philosophical views in a different medium (say, in person-to-person interactions)?

    While I understand the work, effort and thought you put into your blog must reflect and speak volumes about your identity, if your blog represents you, then people who know you should already know the message and purpose of your blog. I doubt once offline you cease to be an ally or technology nerd (among other wonderful things, natch).

    Perhaps your blog gives better clarification or a different insight of who you are, and you may be more comfortable with learning and connecting to people through the blog form or sharing facets of your identity through this medium, but it’s entirely possible that no matter how personal you are on your blog, some people find the experience wholly impersonal. Some people may also reject linking and blogging about what is happening to others by others in other places can reflect the self. Some others (I hypothesizing and speculating here) may feel that a blog creates an unbalanced unilateral relationship, where they can only learn about the author but there is no mutual exchange of information, feelings, or self.

    The real hypothetical questions are: Do you think your blog provides the sole window into who you are or just reiterates and reflects it? Do you see your identity as fragmented or compartmentalized? Do you withhold certain facets of yourself for different audiences, interactions and situations? (I would argue that we are all at fault to a degree). If you feel your blog is the best representation of you, then how does that reflect on you as a person not username? (I guess that strikes me as even more complicated given your username IS your name).

    I think it’s interesting that I use a blog to gain a better clarification of who I am for myself, while you’re almost suggesting (or I am perhaps falsely interpreting) you blog to help others gain that clarification about what you already know about yourself. Obviously we are not comparable as bloggers, but still.


  • Annette

    Eric, I’m guessing I’m like a lot of other readers of yours who unsubscribed to your email reminders when I subscribed to the RSS feed. I also have a policy of never leaving comments on blogs (which I am breaking right now, on the off chance that it makes you feel a little better about things). Also, I have to admit that sometimes I miss some of your posts, because I can’t get to them from my Google Reader on my BlackBerry and so then I sometimes read them all in one chunk on my laptop.

    Anyway, that’s far too much explanation about nothing. Suffice it to say, I think what you’re doing is important and brave, and I’m glad you have the integrity to be the same person and on and offline.

    Peace, yo.

  • bint alshamsa

    I know this is a bit off-topic but I just wanted to tell JettyLS:

    There are plenty of people who would be interested in what you have to say even if you don’t think it’s all that important. Those in your demographic are sorely under-represented on the blogosphere. I hope that one day you will consider starting your own blog. I, for one, would be an interested reader. If you do start one, please drop me a line over on my blog to let me know, sil vous plait. :)

  • brad

    Well, I think you’re an intelligent guy who seems to “get it”! :-)

  • sophia


    just thought i’d say how much i appreciate your work here and how it really feels like a positive form of expression and change-making. thank you for sharing so much of yourself :)


  • Ram L

    You know what. You are my hero. Just a glance through your blogs, I can say that strongly.

  • Liz Van Lysal

    I just read your submission to the e-journal. LOVED IT! I agree with you 100%. I feel fortunate to be on a campus where the information technology staff are excited to collaborate with student affairs staff.

  • Chad Swaney

    I just recently discovered your blog, and I have struggled with the issues that come with sharing yourself authentically–especially with family members. The conclusion I reached was that if anyone deserves to hear who I really am and what I really thing, and not judge me for it, it should be my family. Here is my blog post on the subject if you are interested: The Ethics of Authenticity

  • celulitis nunca mas

    What matters is what you are doing, if you think you know this well but not only for what you believe but by your deeds, because I think they deserve respect your ideas,people often see only the shell and not the background, but society is so we have tocope

%d bloggers like this: