The Identity Campaign #Identity

This class has got me thinking. A lot. Maybe too much. But maybe that’s good.
A professor recently followed my Twitter account. To some, that may elicit a sense of excitement or even pride, knowing a professor you looked up to took an interest in YOUR words.

I had a sense of sheer panic.

My Twitter account, which I pretty much NEVER use is connected to my Instagram account, to which no one follows me so my posts and pictures are, let me just say, what I assumed for my eyes only...to some degree.

Until now.

My digital identity is all over the place. I am professional, albeit sparse, on my LinkedIn, which I never go to until I get an email that someone has been stalking that page, which is usually an ex-boyfriend or people I have no connection with from across the country. I deleted my Facebook account and my blogs haven’t been updated in months, if that. The only thing I had been religious on was my Instagram and that was mostly from boredom, child-like tendencies to excitedly make jokes and say inappropriate things and scroll through my feed which consists of nothing but surfers and surf-like Instas that I follow. I think I personally know only one of the people I follow and they never post, so really, it has become my own little world of just me and strangers who I live vicariously through.

Until now.

My world changed abruptly when I received an email telling me my professor was following my Twitter feed...the same one connected to my Instagram which I am sure has a photo of my ass from when I got raked by a spike in the ground at a slip and slide party which excited me when the bruised gash started to look like the Eye of Mordor. That is my Digital Identity. My ass with the Eye of Mordor on it. That probably isn’t good.

In my panic I raced through my phone, attempting to delete all the posts that were associated with Instagram but soon I felt defeated. Why did I have to hide who I was (physically and personally)? Why did I panic when I realized that a professional might see who I really am, or who I portray myself as, unintentionally, on Instagram. Would this affect my future career? Would my humor and willingness to laugh at myself for my own faults and clumsiness be the things that ruin my chances at a job? Would my past, my modeling, be the other thing? But I don’t want to have to hide my accomplishments, even if they do not fall within the “professional realm”. I hate the idea that I cannot be myself and a professional at the same time. How do I find the right Digital Identity where I can be me, all personalities and “multiple spirits” included?

I wanted to figure out what it was that I wanted to have represent me, but how can I do that if I don’t even know who I am. I mean, I know who I am (wild, weird, open, honest, and willing to put myself out there for the sake of a laugh or whatever and following my dream of being a writer and teacher) but how do I keep honest with myself and yet figure out how I want to represent myself?

This has been frustrating. I hated that part about teaching high school. You could hide all you wanted, but you never knew when someone knew someone on Facebook and any joke I made or photo I took that was in no relation to school or my career could have easily been misconstrued and my career could have been at risk. I joke, I curse, I have fun, I am human. But having this digital identity you can’t really do that and I want to fight that. The idea of “personal censorship” is maddening to me. Who I am in my “hidden” Instagram or my Twitter account that I never use should not be used against me for any reason, but it can be and most likely it would be. And I hate that because who I am in the classroom and my work in my career is in no relation to the “Eye of Mordor” picture I have. Yes, it’s my ass, but it is also my humor and my wit and my creativity and my openness about who I am as a person. Must I fear who I am? The binding ties make me want to scream.

I wanted to start a campaign for finding ones own digital identity. No more shame for being yourself, but instead the ability to express who you are. Using #Identity, I wanted to express who I am through photos and words. My love, my strength, my fears, my passions. Why can’t I use this element to figure out who I am? And maybe even who you are. I am not a fan of trending, but I am a fan of getting people to take a step back and try to figure out what it is we are doing on this World Wide Web. This monstrous being that we have all yet to figure out. There are growing pains, there will be consequences, but can we still not exercise our rights of freedom of speech? Why am I so ashamed to know my professor is following me when I have nothing to be ashamed of? I am human. Someone who is following a dream. But I fear losing myself and my “multiple spirits” in the process of that dream for fear of being prosecuted for my individuality.

I want to use my #identity to make a point. I am creative, I am open, I am me. I do not want that to affect my career. If I am successful at my craft it is because I am successful at my craft. It is my #identity that makes me who I am and also makes me successful. Why should that be held against me? If anything it should be supportive that I am willing to find myself so that others and even students can also find themselves. I think it is time we teach #identity in classes, showing students how to be themselves and professional at the same time. Can we do that? Can we make it so that we can be ourselves and professionals at the same time? It’s like having to hide tattoos at work. Why? Why are we constantly hiding who we are? I understand that tattoos are still taboo and that some can be seen as offensive and that, say, as an ambulance worker works on an elderly lady having a heart attack, she may have an emotional or stressful reaction to a tattooed man who is in her home while she is on the brink of death. But isn’t that just a stereotypical response? When will we break down those walls? Can we not be professionals in our field and yet have a real life? Take Tom Kuntz as an example. Can he help us pave the way to a new identity for teachers and what we are expected to look like and act like? Is hiding who we are maybe the thing that is held against us in the eyes of the students? Is them seeing us as “not human” causing a rift and keeping students from wanting to listen? “Who is she anyway? She has no idea what I have been through. She doesn’t understand me”, seeing teachers as pods who only come out to teach, when in reality, teachers are some of the weirdest people you will ever know. Is our lack of #identity the thing that keeps us from really connecting with the students and the curriculum? Maybe if we bring our life to the class and to the world we can be seen as someone who is human and we too use this curriculum in our strange, daily lives. It’s like the tutor vs teacher phenomenon. Students want to feel comfortable in a learning environment, so can we achieve this with #identity?

There are so many fine lines and psychological aspects to this. You cannot be a friend if you are trying to be an authority figure. That is a given. But can we not be human? Can we not be who we are? At what point are we too much ourselves?

This digital identity concept has been both frustrating and thought-provoking. I want to find a way to incorporate this into my WAW class concept. There are so many “things” to cover and I am still not sure at what point DI will be something that can be solved. Judgements will always be passed as it always has throughout human existence. But maybe, as we start to grow with the burgeoning WWW, maybe we can begin to find a way in which we can be both ourselves and professionals without the fear of being persecuted.

The Identity Campaign #Identity

This class has got me thinking. A lot. Maybe too much. But maybe that’s good.
A professor recently followed my Twitter account. To some, that may elicit a sense of excitement or even pride, knowing a professor you looked up to took an interest in YOUR words.

I had a sense of sheer panic.

My Twitter account, which I pretty much NEVER use is connected to my Instagram account, to which no one follows me so my posts and pictures are, let me just say, what I assumed for my eyes only...to some degree.

Until now.

My digital identity is all over the place. I am professional, albeit sparse, on my LinkedIn, which I never go to until I get an email that someone has been stalking that page, which is usually an ex-boyfriend or people I have no connection with from across the country. I deleted my Facebook account and my blogs haven’t been updated in months, if that. The only thing I had been religious on was my Instagram and that was mostly from boredom, child-like tendencies to excitedly make jokes and say inappropriate things and scroll through my feed which consists of nothing but surfers and surf-like Instas that I follow. I think I personally know only one of the people I follow and they never post, so really, it has become my own little world of just me and strangers who I live vicariously through.

Until now.

My world changed abruptly when I received an email telling me my professor was following my Twitter feed...the same one connected to my Instagram which I am sure has a photo of my ass from when I got raked by a spike in the ground at a slip and slide party which excited me when the bruised gash started to look like the Eye of Mordor. That is my Digital Identity. My ass with the Eye of Mordor on it. That probably isn’t good.

In my panic I raced through my phone, attempting to delete all the posts that were associated with Instagram but soon I felt defeated. Why did I have to hide who I was (physically and personally)? Why did I panic when I realized that a professional might see who I really am, or who I portray myself as, unintentionally, on Instagram. Would this affect my future career? Would my humor and willingness to laugh at myself for my own faults and clumsiness be the things that ruin my chances at a job? Would my past, my modeling, be the other thing? But I don’t want to have to hide my accomplishments, even if they do not fall within the “professional realm”. I hate the idea that I cannot be myself and a professional at the same time. How do I find the right Digital Identity where I can be me, all personalities and “multiple spirits” included?

I wanted to figure out what it was that I wanted to have represent me, but how can I do that if I don’t even know who I am. I mean, I know who I am (wild, weird, open, honest, and willing to put myself out there for the sake of a laugh or whatever and following my dream of being a writer and teacher) but how do I keep honest with myself and yet figure out how I want to represent myself?

This has been frustrating. I hated that part about teaching high school. You could hide all you wanted, but you never knew when someone knew someone on Facebook and any joke I made or photo I took that was in no relation to school or my career could have easily been misconstrued and my career could have been at risk. I joke, I curse, I have fun, I am human. But having this digital identity you can’t really do that and I want to fight that. The idea of “personal censorship” is maddening to me. Who I am in my “hidden” Instagram or my Twitter account that I never use should not be used against me for any reason, but it can be and most likely it would be. And I hate that because who I am in the classroom and my work in my career is in no relation to the “Eye of Mordor” picture I have. Yes, it’s my ass, but it is also my humor and my wit and my creativity and my openness about who I am as a person. Must I fear who I am? The binding ties make me want to scream.

I wanted to start a campaign for finding ones own digital identity. No more shame for being yourself, but instead the ability to express who you are. Using #Identity, I wanted to express who I am through photos and words. My love, my strength, my fears, my passions. Why can’t I use this element to figure out who I am? And maybe even who you are. I am not a fan of trending, but I am a fan of getting people to take a step back and try to figure out what it is we are doing on this World Wide Web. This monstrous being that we have all yet to figure out. There are growing pains, there will be consequences, but can we still not exercise our rights of freedom of speech? Why am I so ashamed to know my professor is following me when I have nothing to be ashamed of? I am human. Someone who is following a dream. But I fear losing myself and my “multiple spirits” in the process of that dream for fear of being prosecuted for my individuality.

I want to use my #identity to make a point. I am creative, I am open, I am me. I do not want that to affect my career. If I am successful at my craft it is because I am successful at my craft. It is my #identity that makes me who I am and also makes me successful. Why should that be held against me? If anything it should be supportive that I am willing to find myself so that others and even students can also find themselves. I think it is time we teach #identity in classes, showing students how to be themselves and professional at the same time. Can we do that? Can we make it so that we can be ourselves and professionals at the same time? It’s like having to hide tattoos at work. Why? Why are we constantly hiding who we are? I understand that tattoos are still taboo and that some can be seen as offensive and that, say, as an ambulance worker works on an elderly lady having a heart attack, she may have an emotional or stressful reaction to a tattooed man who is in her home while she is on the brink of death. But isn’t that just a stereotypical response? When will we break down those walls? Can we not be professionals in our field and yet have a real life? Take Tom Kuntz as an example. Can he help us pave the way to a new identity for teachers and what we are expected to look like and act like? Is hiding who we are maybe the thing that is held against us in the eyes of the students? Is them seeing us as “not human” causing a rift and keeping students from wanting to listen? “Who is she anyway? She has no idea what I have been through. She doesn’t understand me”, seeing teachers as pods who only come out to teach, when in reality, teachers are some of the weirdest people you will ever know. Is our lack of #identity the thing that keeps us from really connecting with the students and the curriculum? Maybe if we bring our life to the class and to the world we can be seen as someone who is human and we too use this curriculum in our strange, daily lives. It’s like the tutor vs teacher phenomenon. Students want to feel comfortable in a learning environment, so can we achieve this with #identity?

There are so many fine lines and psychological aspects to this. You cannot be a friend if you are trying to be an authority figure. That is a given. But can we not be human? Can we not be who we are? At what point are we too much ourselves?

This digital identity concept has been both frustrating and thought-provoking. I want to find a way to incorporate this into my WAW class concept. There are so many “things” to cover and I am still not sure at what point DI will be something that can be solved. Judgements will always be passed as it always has throughout human existence. But maybe, as we start to grow with the burgeoning WWW, maybe we can begin to find a way in which we can be both ourselves and professionals without the fear of being persecuted.

The Identity Campaign #Identity

This class has got me thinking. A lot. Maybe too much. But maybe that’s good.
A professor recently followed my Twitter account. To some, that may elicit a sense of excitement or even pride, knowing a professor you looked up to took an interest in YOUR words.

I had a sense of sheer panic.

My Twitter account, which I pretty much NEVER use is connected to my Instagram account, to which no one follows me so my posts and pictures are, let me just say, what I assumed for my eyes only...to some degree.

Until now.

My digital identity is all over the place. I am professional, albeit sparse, on my LinkedIn, which I never go to until I get an email that someone has been stalking that page, which is usually an ex-boyfriend or people I have no connection with from across the country. I deleted my Facebook account and my blogs haven’t been updated in months, if that. The only thing I had been religious on was my Instagram and that was mostly from boredom, child-like tendencies to excitedly make jokes and say inappropriate things and scroll through my feed which consists of nothing but surfers and surf-like Instas that I follow. I think I personally know only one of the people I follow and they never post, so really, it has become my own little world of just me and strangers who I live vicariously through.

Until now.

My world changed abruptly when I received an email telling me my professor was following my Twitter feed...the same one connected to my Instagram which I am sure has a photo of my ass from when I got raked by a spike in the ground at a slip and slide party which excited me when the bruised gash started to look like the Eye of Mordor. That is my Digital Identity. My ass with the Eye of Mordor on it. That probably isn’t good.

In my panic I raced through my phone, attempting to delete all the posts that were associated with Instagram but soon I felt defeated. Why did I have to hide who I was (physically and personally)? Why did I panic when I realized that a professional might see who I really am, or who I portray myself as, unintentionally, on Instagram. Would this affect my future career? Would my humor and willingness to laugh at myself for my own faults and clumsiness be the things that ruin my chances at a job? Would my past, my modeling, be the other thing? But I don’t want to have to hide my accomplishments, even if they do not fall within the “professional realm”. I hate the idea that I cannot be myself and a professional at the same time. How do I find the right Digital Identity where I can be me, all personalities and “multiple spirits” included?

I wanted to figure out what it was that I wanted to have represent me, but how can I do that if I don’t even know who I am. I mean, I know who I am (wild, weird, open, honest, and willing to put myself out there for the sake of a laugh or whatever and following my dream of being a writer and teacher) but how do I keep honest with myself and yet figure out how I want to represent myself?

This has been frustrating. I hated that part about teaching high school. You could hide all you wanted, but you never knew when someone knew someone on Facebook and any joke I made or photo I took that was in no relation to school or my career could have easily been misconstrued and my career could have been at risk. I joke, I curse, I have fun, I am human. But having this digital identity you can’t really do that and I want to fight that. The idea of “personal censorship” is maddening to me. Who I am in my “hidden” Instagram or my Twitter account that I never use should not be used against me for any reason, but it can be and most likely it would be. And I hate that because who I am in the classroom and my work in my career is in no relation to the “Eye of Mordor” picture I have. Yes, it’s my ass, but it is also my humor and my wit and my creativity and my openness about who I am as a person. Must I fear who I am? The binding ties make me want to scream.

I wanted to start a campaign for finding ones own digital identity. No more shame for being yourself, but instead the ability to express who you are. Using #Identity, I wanted to express who I am through photos and words. My love, my strength, my fears, my passions. Why can’t I use this element to figure out who I am? And maybe even who you are. I am not a fan of trending, but I am a fan of getting people to take a step back and try to figure out what it is we are doing on this World Wide Web. This monstrous being that we have all yet to figure out. There are growing pains, there will be consequences, but can we still not exercise our rights of freedom of speech? Why am I so ashamed to know my professor is following me when I have nothing to be ashamed of? I am human. Someone who is following a dream. But I fear losing myself and my “multiple spirits” in the process of that dream for fear of being prosecuted for my individuality.

I want to use my #identity to make a point. I am creative, I am open, I am me. I do not want that to affect my career. If I am successful at my craft it is because I am successful at my craft. It is my #identity that makes me who I am and also makes me successful. Why should that be held against me? If anything it should be supportive that I am willing to find myself so that others and even students can also find themselves. I think it is time we teach #identity in classes, showing students how to be themselves and professional at the same time. Can we do that? Can we make it so that we can be ourselves and professionals at the same time? It’s like having to hide tattoos at work. Why? Why are we constantly hiding who we are? I understand that tattoos are still taboo and that some can be seen as offensive and that, say, as an ambulance worker works on an elderly lady having a heart attack, she may have an emotional or stressful reaction to a tattooed man who is in her home while she is on the brink of death. But isn’t that just a stereotypical response? When will we break down those walls? Can we not be professionals in our field and yet have a real life? Take Tom Kuntz as an example. Can he help us pave the way to a new identity for teachers and what we are expected to look like and act like? Is hiding who we are maybe the thing that is held against us in the eyes of the students? Is them seeing us as “not human” causing a rift and keeping students from wanting to listen? “Who is she anyway? She has no idea what I have been through. She doesn’t understand me”, seeing teachers as pods who only come out to teach, when in reality, teachers are some of the weirdest people you will ever know. Is our lack of #identity the thing that keeps us from really connecting with the students and the curriculum? Maybe if we bring our life to the class and to the world we can be seen as someone who is human and we too use this curriculum in our strange, daily lives. It’s like the tutor vs teacher phenomenon. Students want to feel comfortable in a learning environment, so can we achieve this with #identity?

There are so many fine lines and psychological aspects to this. You cannot be a friend if you are trying to be an authority figure. That is a given. But can we not be human? Can we not be who we are? At what point are we too much ourselves?

This digital identity concept has been both frustrating and thought-provoking. I want to find a way to incorporate this into my WAW class concept. There are so many “things” to cover and I am still not sure at what point DI will be something that can be solved. Judgements will always be passed as it always has throughout human existence. But maybe, as we start to grow with the burgeoning WWW, maybe we can begin to find a way in which we can be both ourselves and professionals without the fear of being persecuted.

Just Another Blogorama

When did a/s/l stop being an acceptable form of introduction on the internet? Or was it never really acceptable outside of those AOL chatrooms that I’d sneak into between fording a river and hunting water fowl on Oregon Trail? Fortunately, losing family and friends to scarlet fever and watching my entire supply of salted meats, flour, and hard tack get swept away by a violent stream of water that just knocked over a 400lb wagon left a more lasting impression than those chatrooms. Side note: While looking for a copy of the Oregon Trail to play instead of studying like a productive grad student, I came across this relevant BuzzFeed list and its accompanying Quiz. The game itself is available for 8 bucks on Amazon–of course–and you can have it in two days with Prime shipping! I wonder if I can recover all of my favorite childhood games on Amazon or e-Bay. Mall Madness? Aladdin on Sega? Phantasmagoria? Phantasmagoria, by the way, still gives me nightmares. If my grandma knew what happened in that creepy old mansion she probably would have taken the CD-rom away and spared me the visuals of my face being eaten by a great big demon. Still, the chat rooms were the worst thing I could get my sneaky little 9 year old self into on the computer in 1997. How’s that for an introduction, Blog Readers? You now know more about me than Google Plus. Keep coming back and soon you’ll know me better than Facebook. “Congratulations! You made it to Oregon.” Danielle Astengo(rama) (<—more on that next time)

Wow!…Gardner Campbell’s Keynote -Ecologies of Yearning…Mind Blown!

Before I get up on a digital soap box, or maybe on my IBM PCjr. –the 80s computer geeks equivalent- I wanted to just say wow, that was inspirational stuff right there for anyone who is even remotely engaged with the world around them and especially interested in where we are headed in education, or better yet, the process of critically thinking about ourselves and the role we play in the world around us. Any way you spin that talk, Campbell drove it home when he was breaking down this idea of “networked transcontextualism” being key to learning and understanding, primarily because it is comprised of “some deep experience, of the richness, the complexities of the ecologies of yearning, that inform our desire to make meaning out of our experience, which we must do together; (and here he paused only for a blink and said with an unmistakable honest joy) because that’s where meaning lies”. Again, wow! Now to connect this back to a point I wanna make, which is how awesome this all is and how lucky I am, again, to be engaging with so many great people about things that I have now become time-consumingly passionate about: writing, literature, teaching, but most of all the ways in which we can effectively engage with and further the 21st century learners’, students’ and educators’ abilities; I must bring in a bit of my own transcontextual material stemming from time I served in the educational system as an adolescent and what it is that really motivates me to want to do more with all this cool stuff. Without further ado, my story leading up to this goes a lil somethin’ like this: So, being that I am a product of old school methods that conditioned us to sit in rows and the emphasis was always put on what you did as an individual and not a collective whole, I was never a fan of getting in groups, riffing off others or even considering what others had to say in the way of my thoughts. “What thoughts were ever solely mine anyway, right? As if peers of all walks had anything to do with my awesomely unique thoughts…silly boy.” But again, it was what I knew at the time and it was supposed to be that way…or so I thought. As I matured from the elementary and junior high level to high school, and I use matured loosely, I was presented at every turn with, what I would come to define later in life as, painted cattle guards – sets of rules or ways of being that are then imposed on you that present themselves as genuine hurdles or road blocks to overcome, but in reality completely conquerable with a little push back in the form of questioning, considering possibilities, thinking deeply about the issues as a unit to overcome this obstacle in front of us or whatever approach you choose. In short, not faking the “double take”, right?. Yet still, even with a new self and voice I felt like I had acquired during this time, the educational conditioning I received made me feel at times like I was a child who was to be seen and not heard; spoke only when spoken too. Not every educator I came across fits this negative image I’m painting, obviously, but as I moved through high school, it seemed to be more and more evident that this was the model that had been passed down and preached. My most memorable, and ultimately inspirational, of these interactions with changeless educators was in my junior year when I failed a poetry test based on my opinion of the author’s intentions/meanings. When I asked the teacher why I failed, she told me it was “Because that’s not what the scholars say that poem means”. Ouch! Not only was I wrong, but she made me feel, at the young impressionable age of sixteen or seventeen, like what I had to say maybe didn’t matter, and there were plenty of smart people, “scholars” –whatever the hell that word meant to me at the time- ,that knew far better than I did. Needless to say, that may be inspirational now, but at the time it made me go from being an A student to a C and D student because I lost the confidence to speak my mind and question the things around me and comment on the things I knew the answer to. Again, not all were like this, or even many, but enough were like this to where a change in the guard was necessary but not in sight. It wasn’t until I went to Shasta and Butte College to finish my general ed before transferring to Chico that I finally had a chance to express my thoughts on something I wanted to talk about and in the way that I wanted to say them. My English professors at the time, Tony D’souza at Shasta and then Sarah Pape at Butte, both had a way about them that was inviting, engaging and yet eager to learn from you as a student, which in turn pushed you to not only do what they asked, but to do it to the best of your ability because you knew they sincerely cared…or just faked it really really good. Still though, when I talk to these professors, just as I would with anyone who I’ve come in contact with and grown through, I thank them for everything they’ve done and remind them that the time spent with them in their classes and outside of it are what gave me the extra push I needed to pursue furthering my education and become the aspiring scholar, educator, colleague, friend and human I aim to be. What’s important to note about this positive change that we come to expect from going between high school and college is it didn’t come for me until I was in my late twenties, so you can imagine how different the classrooms were in a ten to twelve year span, as well as the person that I had become –not to mention I went from hustlin’ in the streets, to hustlin’ mattresses for Sleep Train, to physically hustling to get my education done as the economy fell around me, my wife and two kids (now three). What I aim to point out with this bit of info is that it wasn’t all the changes in me and society that made these professors awesome at what they did –and many who follow them as I continued- it was/is their understanding of the materials that they were working with and their ability to engage the student on a real level through their own secret superpowers. Adding to this was the fact that they were incorporating the tools and technologies of the time to better support and promote deeper thinking and the sharing of ideas –i.e. by building around communities of practice and creating affinity groups before it seemed to take hold, using new theories around revision and workshop, introducing us to different forms of media and mediums and being knowledgeable about the current events, television shows or music or movies that appealed to different demographics, connected us to the locale through civic engagement, and the topper, they were normal people who never forget what it was like and for them and what it means to be a student in present day… also, not necessarily digital tools either. All this sounds very basic and normal now, but as we can see from Campbell’s Keynote in 2012, D’souza and Pape were ahead of their time, as were the educators who taught and paved their way. What they took from the people before them and incorporated into their own styles was the key component that Campbell is pointing to when he talks about transcontextual materials being important. It’s the idea that these seemingly insignificant and irrelevant ideas that arise from reading and discussing, let’s say, William Faulkner or Charles Bukowski or Lev Vygotsky or James Gee, in relationship to things that you understand and know about the world around you are key. Your ideas may not be what the scholars think, but that’s because you don’t think like anybody else; you’re an individual with your own ideas and emotions which in turn will change the way we as a whole look at whatever or whomever that may be in the discussion. Okay, phew, (wiping the sweat from our brows-ers), we made it through my sad existence in the unified school districts of San Jose and were forced through my reentry into the college system; so if you’re still here, then you must of followed the tangents fine and are ready to wrap this up. For me, the educators that stick out in my mind are those that are doing something that everyone else looks at as crazy or feels their ideas are just a little too far outside that invisible box we keep trying to push them out of but packing taping them in when we don’t agree with or understand what they’re saying. You see a little connection now? My whole thing is is that I’m fascinated by all this new “stuff” I’m learning and am just so eager to keep this ball of excitement rolling inside me and can’t wait to see what the future will bring. Now that I have barely got wet and tipped my toe in the deeper waters –this blog thing here- I feel like I’m learning to take the floaties off and venture further, yet I can’t help but think about Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin’s “The Awakwening” and imagine myself in her position, looking back at the shore we’ve left behind and swimming further, until –in my case- I hope to get picked up by this ship we’re building together; otherwise it’s the smell of pinks filling the air and the sounds of bees buzzing in my ears, ’cause there’s no turning back now. I just want to say thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and sorry for the lengthy piece, but this was a free flow of info and emotion that I didn’t want to quit, brought on by Gardner Campbell’s talk and it seemed fitting to just go with it. I leave you to think on this for yourself now: What motivates you to want to “make the thing (whatever it is for you) not suck”? –paging Dr. Jaxon, I stole your line; it’s just that good.

The Rise and Fall of My Love for the Digital Age

I know I am supposed to create this "digital identity" but I think the problem with that is I don't even know my own identity anymore. I have my "teacher" identity, or the one I put out there for me as a "writer" (if you can even call me that). But who am I? Why is this Digital Age the thing I feel I want to turn my back on most? Is it possible I feel I have lost my identity due to it? That I created an identity that I had only made up? Being one of the first of the three generations the internet has extended to, to take to it as if it were the future and only the future. But what if I don't want that to be the only future? What if I want more? More life, more physical, more something. Is there not more to life than sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours a day? My entire work career, short of waitressing, has been in front of a computer. Myspace and Facebook and Pinterest and blogs...hours upon hours staring at a screen putting my words onto a screen that was supposed to emulate me as a person. I was witty and charming and sexy on the computer...this fantasy world of make-believe. The photos, the words, the things we typed were supposed to be us, but they weren't, were they? I always thought I was true to myself and I still feel like I am, so why does my "digital identity" feel like such a farce? Is it because of the fact I never really had an intimate moment in a digital realm? You can't create on screen what you can when sitting across from someone. Anyone. Yet I made it my life. I was addicted. I never understood why my ex husband (at the time my live-in boyfirend) was so perturbed by my Facebook/myspace usage. Wasn't that what we all did? Live this online life that was real? It was real, wasn't it? It was like those addicted to World of Warcraft or other alternate life games and social media. It takes us away and makes us who we would rather be. Someone other than ourselves. Maybe I was too naive and young to be given the gift of using the internet. The repercussions had yet to be fully determined. It was all so new and exciting and all these other realms of communication were so exciting. And yet now, now I hate it. I deleted my Facebook, assured it was just another evil in which to cheat/scam/deceit others into thinking things that were not true or even convincing yourself that those things were real. It is no longer for me. I am not sure what my bitterness is towards the digital age considering I felt like a revolutionary in it. As I struggle to create a Wix.com page, I find myself more and more angry that I am forced to sit and look at another computer screen. Can I just have a face to face discussion? I need real interactions. Human interactions. What we used to get when we were forced to awkwardly express ourselves to another person with no time to think and "text" or "comment" or "like". I had strangers come to me at bars and say, "oh, you're that girl on Facebook". I had no idea who they were but apparently they were one of my 956 friends on Facebook. This bitterness and "over it-ness"could all stem from the 2 years of living alone and working from home online, Facebook being my only "personal" outlet. Or maybe the most recent break-up where seeing him with other girls, happily enjoying their company that made me realize, it just wasn't for me. I was jealous. I didn't want to be on the computer looking at photos of my ex with other people, I wanted to be the one out there, not at a computer stalking someone's page. I hated myself and I hated what the digital age was doing to me. So much bitterness and hate. So much confusion. Why was it all so complicated. Now with new communication outlets, it made me want to crawl away under a rock where no one could see me or hear me. But here I am having to blog. Or maybe, getting to blog. I am aware of the absolute amazing power the internet has created. All of it. I find it absolutely fascinating and amazing, at least I did in the beginning when we started memes in threads that would be used over and over again. Now the concept of "trending" is tiresome and annoying. Nothing is unique anymore. Nothing is a novelty, it's all played over and over a million times and retweeted and posted. I know that I used to have an awe over that concept, but now...now it seems sheepish...like mindlessly forwarding emails about giant spiders that live under your toilet seat and so forth. That is how I see it. Spam. Forwarded garbage. And I know it isn't all like that. I know there is more to it...at least deep down I know that. But now, here, at this moment, I have a hard time seeing it. I have a hard time appreciating it. I have a hard time being ok with my digital identity because in the end, I have no digital identity. I don't want to have one. I just want to be me, sitting in a chair in a room talking to another person who sits in front of me. I want to be human, not digital. I want to be real. I want to be me. I guess this then will segue me into my next blog...what is my digital identity and how can I find it and still be me? And lastly, do I want one and can I succeed without one? The answer to that last question, currently, is no. I then must ask myself, what identity must I use? Maybe my "true" identity is not what should be my "digital identity".

The Rise and Fall of My Love for the Digital Age

I know I am supposed to create this "digital identity" but I think the problem with that is I don't even know my own identity anymore. I have my "teacher" identity, or the one I put out there for me as a "writer" (if you can even call me that). But who am I? Why is this Digital Age the thing I feel I want to turn my back on most? Is it possible I feel I have lost my identity due to it? That I created an identity that I had only made up? Being one of the first of the three generations the internet has extended to, to take to it as if it were the future and only the future. But what if I don't want that to be the only future? What if I want more? More life, more physical, more something. Is there not more to life than sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours a day?
My entire work career, short of waitressing, has been in front of a computer. Myspace and Facebook and Pinterest and blogs...hours upon hours staring at a screen putting my words onto a screen that was supposed to emulate me as a person. I was witty and charming and sexy on the computer...this fantasy world of make-believe. The photos, the words, the things we typed were supposed to be us, but they weren't, were they? I always thought I was true to myself and I still feel like I am, so why does my "digital identity" feel like such a farce? Is it because of the fact I never really had an intimate moment in a digital realm? You can't create on screen what you can when sitting across from someone. Anyone. Yet I made it my life. I was addicted.

I never understood why my ex husband (at the time my live-in boyfirend) was so perturbed by my Facebook/myspace usage. Wasn't that what we all did? Live this online life that was real? It was real, wasn't it? It was like those addicted to World of Warcraft or other alternate life games and social media. It takes us away and makes us who we would rather be. Someone other than ourselves.

Maybe I was too naive and young to be given the gift of using the internet. The repercussions had yet to be fully determined. It was all so new and exciting and all these other realms of communication were so exciting. And yet now, now I hate it. I deleted my Facebook, assured it was just another evil in which to cheat/scam/deceit others into thinking things that were not true or even convincing yourself that those things were real. It is no longer for me.

I am not sure what my bitterness is towards the digital age considering I felt like a revolutionary in it. As I struggle to create a Wix.com page, I find myself more and more angry that I am forced to sit and look at another computer screen. Can I just have a face to face discussion? I need real interactions. Human interactions. What we used to get when we were forced to awkwardly express ourselves to another person with no time to think and "text" or "comment" or "like". I had strangers come to me at bars and say, "oh, you're that girl on Facebook". I had no idea who they were but apparently they were one of my 956 friends on Facebook.

This bitterness and "over it-ness"could all stem from the 2 years of living alone and working from home online, Facebook being my only "personal" outlet. Or maybe the most recent break-up where seeing him with other girls, happily enjoying their company that made me realize, it just wasn't for me. I was jealous. I didn't want to be on the computer looking at photos of my ex with other people, I wanted to be the one out there, not at a computer stalking someone's page. I hated myself and I hated what the digital age was doing to me. So much bitterness and hate. So much confusion. Why was it all so complicated. Now with new communication outlets, it made me want to crawl away under a rock where no one could see me or hear me.

But here I am having to blog. Or maybe, getting to blog.

I am aware of the absolute amazing power the internet has created. All of it. I find it absolutely fascinating and amazing, at least I did in the beginning when we started memes in threads that would be used over and over again. Now the concept of "trending" is tiresome and annoying. Nothing is unique anymore. Nothing is a novelty, it's all played over and over a million times and retweeted and posted. I know that I used to have an awe over that concept, but now...now it seems sheepish...like mindlessly forwarding emails about giant spiders that live under your toilet seat and so forth. That is how I see it. Spam. Forwarded garbage. And I know it isn't all like that. I know there is more to it...at least deep down I know that. But now, here, at this moment, I have a hard time seeing it. I have a hard time appreciating it. I have a hard time being ok with my digital identity because in the end, I have no digital identity. I don't want to have one. I just want to be me, sitting in a chair in a room talking to another person who sits in front of me. I want to be human, not digital. I want to be real. I want to be me.

I guess this then will segue me into my next blog...what is my digital identity and how can I find it and still be me? And lastly, do I want one and can I succeed without one? The answer to that last question, currently, is no. I then must ask myself, what identity must I use? Maybe my "true" identity is not what should be my "digital identity".



The Rise and Fall of My Love for the Digital Age

I know I am supposed to create this "digital identity" but I think the problem with that is I don't even know my own identity anymore. I have my "teacher" identity, or the one I put out there for me as a "writer" (if you can even call me that). But who am I? Why is this Digital Age the thing I feel I want to turn my back on most? Is it possible I feel I have lost my identity due to it? That I created an identity that I had only made up? Being one of the first of the three generations the internet has extended to, to take to it as if it were the future and only the future. But what if I don't want that to be the only future? What if I want more? More life, more physical, more something. Is there not more to life than sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours a day?
My entire work career, short of waitressing, has been in front of a computer. Myspace and Facebook and Pinterest and blogs...hours upon hours staring at a screen putting my words onto a screen that was supposed to emulate me as a person. I was witty and charming and sexy on the computer...this fantasy world of make-believe. The photos, the words, the things we typed were supposed to be us, but they weren't, were they? I always thought I was true to myself and I still feel like I am, so why does my "digital identity" feel like such a farce? Is it because of the fact I never really had an intimate moment in a digital realm? You can't create on screen what you can when sitting across from someone. Anyone. Yet I made it my life. I was addicted.

I never understood why my ex husband (at the time my live-in boyfirend) was so perturbed by my Facebook/myspace usage. Wasn't that what we all did? Live this online life that was real? It was real, wasn't it? It was like those addicted to World of Warcraft or other alternate life games and social media. It takes us away and makes us who we would rather be. Someone other than ourselves.

Maybe I was too naive and young to be given the gift of using the internet. The repercussions had yet to be fully determined. It was all so new and exciting and all these other realms of communication were so exciting. And yet now, now I hate it. I deleted my Facebook, assured it was just another evil in which to cheat/scam/deceit others into thinking things that were not true or even convincing yourself that those things were real. It is no longer for me.

I am not sure what my bitterness is towards the digital age considering I felt like a revolutionary in it. As I struggle to create a Wix.com page, I find myself more and more angry that I am forced to sit and look at another computer screen. Can I just have a face to face discussion? I need real interactions. Human interactions. What we used to get when we were forced to awkwardly express ourselves to another person with no time to think and "text" or "comment" or "like". I had strangers come to me at bars and say, "oh, you're that girl on Facebook". I had no idea who they were but apparently they were one of my 956 friends on Facebook.

This bitterness and "over it-ness"could all stem from the 2 years of living alone and working from home online, Facebook being my only "personal" outlet. Or maybe the most recent break-up where seeing him with other girls, happily enjoying their company that made me realize, it just wasn't for me. I was jealous. I didn't want to be on the computer looking at photos of my ex with other people, I wanted to be the one out there, not at a computer stalking someone's page. I hated myself and I hated what the digital age was doing to me. So much bitterness and hate. So much confusion. Why was it all so complicated. Now with new communication outlets, it made me want to crawl away under a rock where no one could see me or hear me.

But here I am having to blog. Or maybe, getting to blog.

I am aware of the absolute amazing power the internet has created. All of it. I find it absolutely fascinating and amazing, at least I did in the beginning when we started memes in threads that would be used over and over again. Now the concept of "trending" is tiresome and annoying. Nothing is unique anymore. Nothing is a novelty, it's all played over and over a million times and retweeted and posted. I know that I used to have an awe over that concept, but now...now it seems sheepish...like mindlessly forwarding emails about giant spiders that live under your toilet seat and so forth. That is how I see it. Spam. Forwarded garbage. And I know it isn't all like that. I know there is more to it...at least deep down I know that. But now, here, at this moment, I have a hard time seeing it. I have a hard time appreciating it. I have a hard time being ok with my digital identity because in the end, I have no digital identity. I don't want to have one. I just want to be me, sitting in a chair in a room talking to another person who sits in front of me. I want to be human, not digital. I want to be real. I want to be me.

I guess this then will segue me into my next blog...what is my digital identity and how can I find it and still be me? And lastly, do I want one and can I succeed without one? The answer to that last question, currently, is no. I then must ask myself, what identity must I use? Maybe my "true" identity is not what should be my "digital identity".