1991: Who we were and Who we need to be

When I asked Mike Wesch how he would define a digital citizen he linked me to this blog post of his.

Here are some of my favourite bits:

“Identity” is so important to us (and especially our students) because we live in a world in which identity and recognition are not givens. They must be achieved.

As a society, we continue trending toward individualism and superficiality even as we value connection, community, and authenticity. 

If community, social action, and empathy levels are down (as research shows them to be), then I think it is our responsibility to help create more socially conscious and empathic students/citizens.

I like that he says that identity must be achieved. In my case i am treating digital citizenship as something that must be earned. He also talks a lot about how today there are so many differing beliefs and values it is impossible for any one to prove their own are true. I’m discovering many differing beliefs/opinions in the responses I’m getting from people about digital citizenship, and this blog post has confirmed for me that I don’t think i’m going to come across the ‘right’ answer, because that does not exist. 


Identifying and eliminating trolls.
I really like the term “online vandalism” as something separate from “online pollution” because vandalism implies a malicious intent, whereas pollution is often just a result of carelessness or ignorance.
the Ctrl+Alt+Delete is cool too.

Identifying and eliminating trolls.

I really like the term “online vandalism” as something separate from “online pollution” because vandalism implies a malicious intent, whereas pollution is often just a result of carelessness or ignorance.

the Ctrl+Alt+Delete is cool too.

Online Commenting: The Age of Rage

The psychologists call it “deindividuation”. It’s what happens when social norms are withdrawn because identities are concealed. The classic deindividuation experiment concerned American children at Halloween. Trick-or-treaters were invited to take sweets left in the hall of a house on a table on which there was also a sum of money. When children arrived singly, and not wearing masks, only 8% of them stole any of the money. When they were in larger groups, with their identities concealed by fancy dress, that number rose to 80%. The combination of a faceless crowd and personal anonymity provoked individuals into breaking rules that under “normal” circumstances they would not have considered.

Deindividuation is what happens when we get behind the wheel of a car and feel moved to scream abuse at the woman in front who is slow in turning right. It is what motivates a responsible father in a football crowd to yell crude sexual hatred at the opposition or the referee. And it’s why under the cover of an alias or an avatar on a website or a blog – surrounded by virtual strangers – conventionally restrained individuals might be moved to suggest a comedian should suffer all manner of violent torture because they don’t like his jokes, or his face. Digital media allow almost unlimited opportunity for wilful deindividuation. They almost require it. The implications of those liberties, of the ubiquity of anonymity and the language of the crowd, are only beginning to be felt.

Very interesting article. Another reason why I want to create something that makes users think of the internet as more than just pixels, bytes and data.

Internet Pollution

This post gives a good description of internet pollution and spam. It’s easy to think of spam as just those emails you get from Nigerian princes, or those “congratulations you won!” pop ups, but this article highlights two other types of spam that contribute to internet pollution that the ordinary internet user is more likely to be guilty of. In my words, here they are:

Posting the same thing everywhere on all the forums/blogs/social networking sites you belong to. If you do this, then people searching for something may come across your same post many times in the search results. Also, it’s incredibly annoying for the people who follow you in more than one place, because we’re getting the same thing over and over again. Different social networks all have different purposes so adjust the content to fit each one. 

Posting inane things. On Twitter this is a huge issue especially when one is looking for information through hashtags, or trying to find out more about news that has broken in the trending topics for example. I think it’s a case, again, of using the right social network. If it’s just something about you, that perhaps nobody else will care about or benefit from, either don’t post it at all, or post it on Facebook (where hopefully you have everything set to private so it will only annoy your friends!). 

I also like how the writer talks about deleting things on the internet that you no longer need. From time to time I go through my blog archive and delete posts that are no longer necessary. perhaps I should do that for my twitter as well! (though I feel the problem of internet pollution is more apparent in real-time searches)

Why our way of thinking about the internet needs to change

“A related danger of the merging of online and offline life, says business thinker Tony Schwartz, is that we come to treat ourselves, in subtle ways, like computers. We drive ourselves to cope with ever-increasing workloads by working longer hours, sucking down coffee and spurning recuperation. But “we were not meant to operate as computers do,” Schwartz says. “We are meant to pulse.” ……..Whatever you might have been led to imagine by the seeping of digital culture into every aspect of daily life – and at times this week in Austin it was easy to forget this – you are not, ultimately, a computer.”

This quote is from an article I looked at in 453 by Oliver Burkeman (can you tell I’m finding it inspiring going back thru my old workblog and finding new meaning in things I’ve collected there? haha)

I have been thinking of cutting back on internet pollution as the reason why we need to start thinking of the internet in more emotive terms rather than as pixels and data, but re-reading this article makes me think that perhaps there is a more basic human need for it. We are human. We want to feel connected to things on an emotional level. But perhaps the way the internet is portrayed visually is what is getting in the way of this connection.

Gaining Authority in the Age of Digital Overload

We’re entering into a new era of the Internet, where users are now looking to find validated sources within the mix of information overload that we all experience, said Steve Rubel, EVP of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman during his presentation at Mashable Connect 2011. This shift is changing the nature of authority.

 “More content will be created today than existed in entirety before 2003.”

Curation is just as important as creation.”