In recent years, social technologies have become increasingly present in our personal and professional lives. More than ever, my teaching and research benefit from connections created in social technologies. Information is rapidly accessible online, therefore, it’s easy to keep oneself updated on the latest research or pedagogy. I maintain a digital identity and connection with colleagues at other institutions and even have one of my favorite authors as a friend on social media. However, this accessibility can also be risky. Sharing personal or professional perspectives may impact the way others interpret your digital identity.
Moreover, the information presented in social technology is sometimes partial or false. This is also true for ourselves and how we present our lives in social media. I agree with Cristina and Katie in arguing that our online self is not completely our real, off-line self, as Pasquini states. Many aspects of our online self may not or cannot embody our real, off-line self. Moreover, the implications of this online self can have real consequences in our lives, these can mean losing a job or a friend.
On a related topic, Bonnie Stewart raises an interesting point, our digital identity is affected in large part by our audience. We often select what face or message we want to share in a given online space. I am thinking, for example, of how I present myself in different social technologies but also how those spaces inform or shape my performance through certain expectations.
I often wonder, how much social technology doI want in my life? How much of a digital presence should I have in academia or my teaching?