Yesterday in my computer lab Composition class I tripped over some computer cords and bit the dust in front of my students. I caught myself on the wall and popped up like a puppet, laughing. They got a kick out of it too.
Apart from thinking about tripping I've been thinking about something we began talking about--digital identity. I'm sure most of you are all familiar with digital identity and digital narrative theories, but it was cool to explain it for the first time to this class of students. We've been talking a lot about Pop Culture and Technology, and yesterday was the perfect day to share with them the formal term. I pulled up my Facebook account for the whole class and explained to them that I'm only choose apps and giving details of the things I want them to know about me. I'm only presenting "the me I want people to see" on Facebook; I'm not sharing the things I might not like about myself or the things I deem private. I watched their faces as I defined this term that they were all kinda dancing around in the conversation, and I noticed several "AHA!!!!" faces. I love those teaching moments. And I really enjoy that class. The students in there are bright and motivated. They make me want to be a better teacher, scholar, and student myself.
Our class discussion, though, has me thinking a lot about Facebook. I'm totally addicted to that crazy thing. It makes it so easy to catch up with distant friends, loved ones, former students, and colleagues. I've been toying with creating student groups for my classes or developing the "Courses" app that gives classes space for a discussion board, a place to post assignment sheets, and an area to post announcements. My students seem kind of reluctant to use Facebook as an education tool. I don't blame them--at times. I think Facebook will be the new Blackbaord, but ,seriously, it's the best toy (and stalking tool) in the internet.
And while thinking about Facebook and digital identity, I've become obsessed with my Profile Picture. I can't find one that cute enough, smart enough, skinny enough: "me" enough. Either I'm having self esteem issues or I need a haircut (that always makes me feel better) or my New Year's Resolution to not buy "new" clothes has left me feeling a little under the weather.
[Talked about the weather, puppy, yoga, creative writing, then...]
Which reminds me of digital identity...like the blogs of the writers who only talk about writer-ly things. Though I respect many of these kinds of blogs, I'm skeptical of others. I'm wondering if all this digital identity isn't just perpetuating stereotypes and locking writers (and teachers) into these oversimplified personifications of their traditional roles. Aren't we all more dynamic than that?