Some Thoughts on Identity

| 1 Comment
Running behind on practically everything these days, so forgive the length (or lack thereof) of this post. It was inspired by something @JustStormy posted on Twitter and Facebook in response to something that had happened to @micala. What @JustStormy said was this:

What would you do if you deleted part of yourself accidentally and could not recover it?

You see, on Sunday, @micala had tried to delete one of her "extra" Twitter accounts, but instead, mistakenly deleted the @micala account. This was her main account--the one with all the followers, the one with nearly 17,000 tweets, and the one with which she engaged a lot of her social network. And now it was gone. All the history, the followers, the ones she followed. Just gone. 

In response, I think @JustStormy's question is a good one. As we put more of our lives online, is it not somewhat like deleting part of your identity--part of the self--if some of that disappears? To me, one of the things that social media does is amplify--your network, your friends, your voice, your very presence. Those of us highly involved in social media have gotten used to this new noise level. In fact, I think this amplification is one of the reasons folks who are not involved often find it somewhat confusing, if not a bit strident at first. When we are used to the amplification, and then it is suddenly silent even in a part of our network, it's jarring. Much as what might happen if you walked out of a rock concert into relative silence. 

And the question remains: what does this all mean for our identity? Our sense of self?

1 Comment

What would I do? I'd probably be shocked at first and then amazed by the freedom from the attachment that I had to the 'self.' As long as you can remember that it's a transient 'self' I think the online aspects of our lives are okay. When you define yourself by a digital life (and trust me, I've been there) is when it become problematic.

Leave a comment


Recent Entries

Usability Testing in eLearning
For those of you who don't know already, I am a member of the Learning Ninjas--I have no idea how…
Card Sort for PSU Accessibility Site
Today I got to participate in a card sort for the accessibility site for Penn State. The process, while similar…
Accessibility and Openness
At Penn State, we have been looking seriously at how to make our online courses accessible to students with disabilities.…