Who are you online?
Pasquini said’ “For some, there seems to be fluidity between the online and off-line self; however, each person I speak with may interpret and approach this continuum differently. ” In 2004, I checked out the online world creator, Second Life. I wanted to use it as a language teaching tool. I created an avatar and entered a sandbox/tutorial just to mess around. Half way through choosing my clothes, I got bored, figured I had the general idea and jumped worlds. All of a sudden, I could hear real people talking about me. “What is she doing? What happened to her clothes?” I realized that I was expected to follow the IRL social norms. When I tried to talk to people and ask questions about where I was and what I should do, the avatars around me slunk away. One girl offered to help, but when she got bored after a few minutes, she hopped worlds and I was left on my own. Pretty sad state of affairs when you get dissed by cartoon characters. Also, startling to realize that there were people so vested in their online identity that they couldn’t be seen virtually hanging out with an ignorant, half-dressed, androgynous computer generated pixel-creature. I have learned to be more mindful of the sensibilities of the real people behind the online personas.
Professionally, I have been obligated a few times to create an online identity. I keep it as objective and minimal as possible for a variety of security and privacy reasons. Katie G addressed one of my major concerns in her Jan 9 2019 9:09 pm blog post:
At the MLA, in fact, some scholars stressed discretion in tweeting about unpublished research presented by junior faculty members, contingent faculty/staff, and students. It wasn’t that those at the conference were resisting this digital platform, it was that they were conscious of the vulnerability of those with less power and/or experience, and who are at more risk of getting their ideas scooped.
There are institutions and individuals who have a finders-keepers mentality online with little respect for copyright or attribution. Content creators who share freely find their work being monetized by mills, or see their work misrepresented, taken out of context, and their professional reputations compromised.
More than anything else, I perceive my online identity as a consumer and observer, not a creator of content. I would like to feel comfortable having a public identity. Who am I online? A lurker.
What social traces do you leave?
Very little:) When you search for me, you will find a list of places where I have lived and one where my identity was stolen. There is also a random set of relatives, my age, and my current address. Many marketers seem to know some very intimate details of my financial status-not sure who’s selling it to them, but it’s pretty accurate. I have dabbled with a lot of sites (created a Moodle, student taught online for UW-Stevens Point, a deleted Facebook and Google Plus account, etc.) There are a couple of news articles I appear in. And, of course, this blog post.
How would you like to start / continue curating or shaping your digital presence and identity?
I would like to blog about the things I know well, while maintaining control of my identity. Sounds like I have to let go of that second piece. Into the deep-end!