Posts Tagged ‘pcl’

Das Maverick

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Professor Gardner Campbell a self-proclaimed maverick calls  our attention to a pressing matter. The Internet. For  most of us, we use the Internet to passively check-in on friends’ statuses and the LOL cats.  However, Campbell uses it as a tool of innovation, and he  asks for us to ‘create and connect our own personal cyber infrastructures” too. The Internet is our tool to begin to engage and learn with new communities of people and ideas. He demands of us that we use the Internet to innovate, create, and communicate. It sounds awesome. However, I question, what does it mean to create our own Internet identities?

By creating our own corner in the information super-highway, we are also given the opportunity to create who we are. Eula Biss, author of Nobody Knows Your Name and other awesome essays, challenges our notion of identity claiming “you must define [it] so that it does not define you.”

From this perspective,  can we also change our identity?  If we are tired of that odd caricature of ourselves that dances in front of us, then we can recreate ourselves!  We can be our own defined selves thru the Internet. Oh the possibilities.

At some level, we all do this all the time when we engage with the Internet. For example, do you always use your real birthday on the innocuous website or survey? Is your username actually your legal name? Is my name really MC? …NNahh dawg (Bonus Round: would I say this in real life?)

This freedom is empowering, invigorating and scary. Yet, do we risk losing something? Do we threaten authentic connection and communication with others that Campbell idealizes so much? Or do we begin a more real experience?