Me online: digital or what?

This post is my farewell to the digital identity week in Change11 and integrates also my posts (see February 2012) about the article of Jenny Mackness and Carmen Tschofen. They tried to add some psychological concepts to open online studies and used the traits given by the Big 5 Personality Test. This week Ailsa linked to Facebook a Mirror of Online Behavior that uses those big 5 traits. And I tried to explore mine. Here comes a picture I took via printscreen, they save my privacy but I am allowed to show what I want.

This information is cropped from the right side: The Big 5 Personality Test assesses key personality traits to get an overview of your character. It is currently the system most used by academic psychologists for personality research. Explore your personality scores and online behaviors through the links in the bottom left.

The traits they use are found in empirical surveys and show the most permanent parts of behavior. It was nice to get feedback after answering their (the mirror makers) questions. First they thought I were a man and then I got information about how common my choices were. It was a survey more than a test, but I like images and that’s why I took this picture of me online. The only interesting part here is that I have little agreeableness, it is true if something  is. I do not follow popular sources or people, I do my own choices. This is one example of online mirror of my what: attitudes, behavioral components, personality traits. Last week we spoke about digital identities, is there any such things? As I said in my previous post, voice good be a better concept.

I am sure that I have an identity and a personality – both are stable and continuously changing. I know something about myself but never everything, I can find new phenomena every day. Bonnie Stewart gave us some facets for describing digital identity and we learned a lot when using those concepts. I have to say that I do not really understand the concept ‘performativity’ because I cannot translate it, it cannot be found in vocabularies. She defines it in her blog post

the concept covers a lot more than the idea of performance does, and disrupts the ideas of authenticity and falseness or surface that tend to go with “performance” in our cultural usages. to be performative within social media isn’t to be fake…rather the concept of performativity suggests that there is no such thing as inner reality or therefore outer fakeness. important for the work i’m doing to tease apart our practices within social networks.

She thinks that people cannot pretend, they are what they are? She has problems with authentic:

authentic. that word. if there was one word i could ban from conversation entirely, that would be it. not because i don’t value it – i do – but because it falls into that “i know it when i see it” category but damn, does it ruin a lot of conversations.

No wonder she feels to be in crisis: conversations need participants but what are they? I wrote about understandings and misunderstandings in moocs and here it is again. If I live in a different world how can I follow Bonnie’s thought or feelings. I was surprised that the discipline in her Mendeley site was Education, not Sociology. Sociologist may look human beings outside, far, but educators? If they do so they are behaviorists? A new concept came to my mind: networked behaviorism?

Once again I try to understand the place of behavior in human life. I wonder if there is a connection between the big 5 personality traits openness, conscientiousness, extravesion, agreeableness and stability and the performativity in Bonnies’s model. She says

..we bring ourselves into being, performatively, by constant repetitive, gestural citation of practices that are intelligible according to the norms of our culture.

It hadn’t occurred to me how performing a role … can be extraordinarily intimidating: at least, it hadn’t occurred to me in years, since the last time I stepped so far out of my comfort zone to do something in public. The intimidation factor of performative acts may be something to consider when encountering people who are resistant to social networks and digital endeavours: online interactions tend to be more visibly or overtly performative than other aspects of our lives, and self-consciousness may contribute to some people’s hesitancy to engage.

There is something very interesting in this quote. Why this public life via blogs is suitable to somebody and quite impossible to many. I think we have  to look deeper in human minds even it is challenging. Behavior and performativity (?) are not enough. They are observable and easy to quantify but not explain anything.

I want to understand deeply but I like to play with ready-made devices as Klout. Today it tells that I am a networker, my scores have gone up for some reason.

Klout cannot tell my influence but I have connections to these people .. and many others. I know who I am but why not to check  these scores (if only I remember).

I noticed that Jaap tried to combine concepts of inner life to digital identities in his blog. And Wolfgang Greller gave an elegant description about Bonnie’s six facets, much better than I did. I found the Facebook group Change11 and got some new friends there. The identity week was worth living but not easy to say what I learned. Time will tell, as always.




My real digital identity for Change11

Bonnie Stewart has activated many participants this week in Change11, me too. I’ve read my earlier writings and followed discussions in FB group and around some blogs. Bonnie was skillful in creating the atmosphere that she wants our comments in order to develop her own thinking. In the live session in Wednesday she tempted 50 people to participate and share many questions and enjoyable humor. Last night I could not sleep I had so many thoughts about my digital identity , so I’ve to write once more. My former posts have been too abstract, dead concepts. Now I planned an image to help me:

Identity is not stable, there must be motion in the visualization. When the digital identity is a part of the main stream (my identity), it is obvious that there are no clear borders between these two. I’ve digital life every day, I may look at my phone (mail, FB, Twitter) before my morning cafe – or not. I open my computer after walking, it is more important.

My digital identity handles only professional issues: learning, development, virtual communities, not so much about teaching any more. Private things stay private. My daughter is in FB and she accepted me as a mother there, it was funny. I can follow her life and my dear grandson if she gives photos or videos. That’s private.

My performances (Bonnie used this word) or my actions, doings are asynchronous & participative, I could combine these three facets of my digital self. The quantitative side could be the bubbles of the day, they come and go. I don’t mind about them or the brand issue.

I have made a list of good questions, these were challenging enough.

who are you online? do you want to share or sell? what do u want to share? Networked publics, what are the affordances? a friend as an affordance?

Alan Levine’s questions in his video:

Is there a clear demarcation between who you are online and elsewhere? No, not much.

What parts of you are people missing out on if they do not interact with the online you? Oh my global connections, they don’t understand how interesting life I am living at home via my computer and the broadcast internet.

Why (or why not) should you manage your own personal cyber infrastructure? What does this mean to you?

Who are we in this space where the online world is not something distinctly separate?

It is easy to say that I am always this same simple me. Matthias Melcher accepts participation and asynchronous actions to describe his digital life. He ponders the stream nature of everything in the internet, come and go and soon be forgotten. Is it possible to choose a slower participation? Yes it is I suppose, I do not have to run I can walk and look around peacefully. Jupidu got me to reflect how simple I am, she has many identities: speaks German English Italy etc and has different tempo  in different cultures. And she can dive in deep water tells her photo.

Here comes one quantified bubble of this week, my Klout score. I had forgotten it totally but Klout had noticed that I am influential in eLearning and Finland.

I am a dabbler, it sounds funny.The score is not high, should I be shamed? It has come up because Bonnie answered to me and those other activists in the picture. Klout send mails and tries to temp me to activate myself, why?

Google Analytics tells me about the visits to my blogs, it is nice to know that some opens this site and some even read this one minute or so. I am not alone. These quantified bubbles jumping from the stream have meaning – but it not the aim to get high scores. The interaction with co-learners is the aim.

I want to express myself, contextualize and find myself. Goffman used a concept the Presentation of Self, he had experiences about distress, selves are not allowed in all circumstances. It is said that in the internet hierarchies are flattened and everybody has opportunities. Find your niches, said Bonnie, and I learned that niche is not a closed box as I thought from some earlier presentation (of danah boyd).

I don’t like a concept “Digital Identity” or “Self” any more. I should like to say my Voice or my Presence. And I should or could manage my presence better than I have done. I should write a short presentation, key words in my profile sites here and there…

Identity or digital identity

I have used Marguerite Koole’s research earlier in this blog (June 1st 2010) in order to understand identity issues. After reading her research again and listening the recording of CIDER (2.3.2011) I am still wondering what to take and what to leave. Of course I had read a lot stuff about identity during my life (studies in Psychology and Education, at work in teacher education, experiences in private life etc). Identity integrates everything ans it reflects everything around us. Perhaps Koole has gathered the knowledge that old sciences psychology and sociology can give us to understand identity issues. She used for instance these concepts (a simple Power Point image again):

In the middle is cognitive resonance, through which one meets the environment, is interested in something or against something or whatever. Personal agency is in my mind different from cultural, political, structural or technological areas. Personal agency cannot be separated from those issues, we grow and socialize ourselves to the surrounding society and built our identity. Identity is a complex concept. It is not easy to define or even describe it. Narrative identity tries to solve some of these problems. Subjectivity is complex too. Some scientists name it as the sound of identity.

Self, unconscious parts of it  – anything to do with internet? Now I remember that some young researchers in Europe (Belgium or Netherlands?) had found the quantified self. And the unconscious part of self was also quantified! I’ve to check who they where (it was after LAK11).

This week in Change11 studies identity and subjectivity. Bonnie Stewart has wisely chosen the objects for our attention: we cannot solve all scientific questions around identity, it is better to explore our experiences in digital world. It is possible to share and compare experiences.  Some of the six aspects Bonnie gave, asynchronous self for instance is a new concept. It was not needed in old times. So we can try to find what new language we need in order to speak about our digital identities. Is this obvious to you all? and I had to make a journey to find this purpose 🙂


Six key aspects of my digital identity

Bonnie Stewart has prepared to participate in Change11 as a facilitator this week. I love the theme Identity and want to learn more about it and about myself. This is a good opportunity. I have read my earlier writings and some pages which have given something to me. Chris Messina had a lecture three years ago : Identity is the platform. I used the same idea in one of my blog posts during PLENK saying that I am the platform. Often the content of identity is only tools, devices, apps or what ever they are. I want to get rid of the technical orientation as a dominating factor.

I am happy that Bonnie Stewart has a broad orientation. She wants to stay near practice, OK. I start this week by studying her six key aspects of digital identities. I planned a diagram with Power Point and do not like it any more, I have to plan a better image some day. But this is feedback to Bonnie anyway and helped me today.

The most resonating parts of Bonnie’s aspects were 1. the performative public self. I share it via my blogs and Facebook and give information in Twitter and follow others of course.

2. The participatory self is very near to the first aspect, I think. I forgot to draw more lines into the image. Bonnie’s aspects are sides of one phenomenon, performance, practice. Consumer and producer go hand to hand, you follow and you produce your own material. Some people stay as lurkers but I suppose that they are latent producers 🙂

3, The asynchronous self is very near to me,my mind,  I want to be free and make my own choices every day. No timetables, no promises, I hate phone rings too and never answer to them.

Those two parts on the right are not so easy to describe. I like learning analytics and easy ways to follow my blog visitors etc. Twitter gives information all the time. But I feel that this does not matter to me, I do not have any aims to become famous and get followers. They come when they come, groups in Facebook are good and Twitter is flexible. Perhaps I could be more conscious about the quantified me? I’ve never liked the idea of branding myself, I’ve thought it is only for business etc. But to be honest: is it obligatory to brand oneself? have I already built a brand of experienced educator, interested in human learning and virtual communities now when I am not working as a teacher educator any more. I am retired from work life after 40 years career. I am two years older than Howard Rheingold 🙂 So am I a brand?

The Augmented reality – poly-social self, I have named it as an avatar in the Second Life. She was me, not her outlook but her personality. It seems that this part of my online identity is leaving in history, I’ve not visited in SL anymore. My avatar must feel very lonely.

This is the beginning of my reflections about digital identities this week. I have not much to tell about #Change11 because I do not follow any courses any more, only sometimes visit them. Or perhaps this: I was happy when Pierre Levy commented to my blog post about his week. I was happy because he saw me just like I had meant. These are the moments that give energy to continue.

My feelings during Pierre Levy week in Change11

My purpose was first to tell about my learning but it is better to say ‘feelings’ – I can’t yet tell what I learned. I have a strong feeling of awakening, the activation level inside my mind has changed and I have enjoyed greatly. Thanks for this possibility to grow and broaden my consciousness. I have become aware about some limits in my mind that I did not know earlier – and I have recognized many old principles I’ve found with my friends in 1970’s an every decade after that. I have age and never begin from tabula rasa.

The hardest question I ask myself is today: why haven’t I lived through those principles I already knew? Have I betrayed myself and why in the world? Pierre Levy is an seriously working scientist, his life is an example of intellectual marathon, I can trust and admire him. I am retired now and I could safely and freely, independently implicit my intellectual marathon. I could do better -this is my basic feeling just now.

I try to tell about my findings: in 1970’s dialectical materialism and pragmatism – international student movement was a real university of innovative practice while science university gave basic knowledge. I studied psychology until licentiate degree and then left university. I was not strong enough to become a researcher after the student movement disappeared – I learned a lot about its death, it returned to hierarchies, conservatism actually. We had the right theory of democratic open equal discussions but we could keep it living, in practice only some years. Shortly I could say that since these times I have believed MIND to be the main concept for understanding mankind development – and mind has materialistic roots both in brain and society and culture through socialization.

My scientific studies in psychology and other social studies help me to understand parts of Pierre Levy’s articles. Philosophy and mathematics are challenging and only partly followed, but in some way I enjoyed reading them too. Reflective practice and conversations in communities have been the content of my working life many decades. Practical orientation has strengthened from year to year, criteria for success are found in ‘good practice, working practice’. Truth is always subjective and contextual.

Linguistics were studied during the course Critical Literacies in summer 2010. I have written many blog posts here during the hot summer and tried to understand the basic concepts. Now I have a feeling that Levy helped me to understand the whole picture better than earlier. I want to read articles many times in the near future, my interest to modelling cognition returned.

Another point of connecting something old to this networked life in the web was the concept rhizomatic learning. Of course it was known from psychology and education: human growth happens in many branched ways and it is seldom linear. I liked to follow Dave Cormier’s discussions but I could not combine it as well as Levy did.  – Oh now I am telling about my learning, fine. Feeling and learning go hand in hand – Levy needed the concept B for saying this.

Still I have to remember my earlier ideas of research. It was autumn 2009 when I wrote the principles of mindware as the entity and qualitative narratives and case studies as a method. My beautiful image is found here. List of the main concepts is fine. The next questions concerning research principles comes from LAK11 conference, spring 2011. I was worried about quantitative data analysis, pondering if it will be the main issue. I could repeat these worries after reading Levy’s articles. I have to follow LAK12, it is coming soon. BUT first of all I have to ask myself that where is my research after 2009 meeting? I follow others’ research and comment to them, but my own story is still obscure. Why? What can I tell publicly? The story is linked to many people. I don’t want to tell negative sides of communication, or assess other participants’ personalities etc. So I have been silent.

This week has been important. I notice that others are writing their pondering, Jenny Mackness helps me again an jupidu (Twitter name) is a new interesting person to me, one blogpost here. In the FB group I followed questions and answers, professors of philosophy or mathematics have been active. I have understood Levy’s answers anyway. My questions are still sleeping, have to find myself first 🙂