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".



[Insert Clever Title Here]

Hi everyone! My name is Dani Fernandez and I am a graduate student at CSU Chico. I am also a first time teacher and I cannot wait to participate in this Connected Course. For my thesis, I am studying mentorship in small group spaces and the identity construction that goes in to becoming a “teacher,” a “mentor,” a “near peer,” etc. To be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed with this incredible learning opportunity. I welcome and would really appreciate any advice or comments from anyone participating in this course. I am forever learning how to be a better teacher and how to be a better student. Thank you!

In the beginning there were blogs

Hello everyone, I am proud to be participating in Connected via Chico State this Fall semester. My name is Derek Swain and I am currently a third year Grad Student at Chico State, who is working closely with Dr Jaxon on a Thesis concerning the implementation of Augmented Reality Games or Alternative Reality Games in different domains that have a pedagogical efficacy. To that effect, I’ve started calling myself the gaming guy. I look forward to participating in this community both as a way to gain and share ideas but also potentially get some constructive feedback on the ideas I am trying to work through.

Only the Beginning…

Hello, all, and welcome to CSU, Chico Connected 2014. My name is Jeremy Wallace and I’m a Graduate student here at California State University, Chico. I want to first tell you that I am in awe and inspired by the work that all of you out there are doing and am thankful to be apart of this. In being apart of connected learning spaces like these where sharing our ideas seems key, my hopes are that we can improve upon the foundation laid before us by scholars in the way of teaching literature and incorporate new tools and practices into the classroom in order to better connect and engage with the 21st century student. I appreciate all and any comments/help that you give and look forward to a wonderful experience here. Thanks,

Resource Starter Kit

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Hi everyone,

I took the plans you shared last night and created a first stab at a resource list HERE.

I think we should form some reading groups. I know one group will be working with the Jenkin’s book (reading and participatory culture). Perhaps others of you want to jump into some game theory and read a similar text together? Maybe start with James Gee or Jane McGonigal? Maybe another group start in digital humanities or open web?

Let’s use this Google Doc as a way to sign up to read together: you could put your name next to texts or areas you want to read in over the next two weeks and find partners/groups to read with you.