Privacy; it might not be the meaning but the notion of privacy that is being altered or redefined through the magical capacities of digital age. Private diaries that were used to be kept in the locked closets are being replaced by constant messages trying to share the most private moments of each individual’s existence with a group of known or unknown audience around the world.
Tomorrow, everybody should know what gift you receive today for Valentine’s, if not, you might not enjoy the gift at all. Moments are being shared before being lived. Feelings are being thrown away at the nearest or the farthest available distance before having being digested inside , to be liked, ignored or shared immediately. A collective public privacy is being created out of the collage that we are all making by contributing few seconds of our everyday lives. Right now, I might be thinking about the photo that I will share of my Valentine’s dinner, though I’m not feeling hungry yet.
In the past 7 years I have gotten onto Facebook (in2008), gotten off (also in 2008), gotten on again (in2010, on orders from my publisher to promote my book), gotten off for short intervals, and now left again (this time for good, I swear) in late 2013.
The things that I miss most about Facebook are its usefulness as a means of passive communication/networking with friends and family far afield, but MOSTLY its function as a microblogging site with a friendly audience.
As a mom to three children, I realized that scrapbooking and babybooking as my mother and her mother did it, recording children’s heights and weights alongside photos and filling in the blanks of Baby’s first bath _____ and Baby’s first words _____ were not for me. Too hard to keep up, too time consuming. When my kids (now 9, 7, and 3.5) say something funny, I am just as likely to forget it as I am to remember it to write down in some pastel colored baby book gathering dust in the guest bedroom.
Facebook provided an accessible and easy to update forum or platform for me in which to record and instantly share my progeny’s funny, witty, poignant, or curious statements and questions.
One thing I didn’t like about Facebook’s pervasive reach into my life is that I started hearing snippets and planning to put them on Facebook, rather than sitting in the moment and hearing / responding to my child’s words and thoughts. This, in part, is why I am finished with Facebook.
Between most Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll ask you to read the responses posted to this website by the other members of this seminar and to comment on at least three of them that particularly draw your attention or interest.
Your comments do not need to be long—50 words or so will usually do fine. What I ask, though, is that you try to make your comments more than simply evaluative—to move beyond I agree . . . or I think you’re wrong . . . Instead, see if you can direct us to a different point in the text, or to make a connection to another post, or perhaps even to bring a new example into the mix. Your goal should be to move the conversation forward.
And you should of course also feel free to respond to the responses to your text. Indeed that’s often where things really start to get fun.
I’d also like us to experiment with Twitter as a way of extending our conversation. Please follow me at @joeharris_ud and use #685dw as the hashtag for this course. I’m open to pretty much any use of Twitter, in large part because I’m not sure I really have a feel for the medium. I would say, though, that I tend to be most drawn to tweets that point that readers outwards—that offer links to readings or images that somehow seem to relate to our work together.
In any case, what I’d like to ask you to do, at least for the first few weeks of this course, is to check in every other day or so on our Twitter feed, and to try to add one or two tweets of your own to it each week. We’ll look briefly at the feed at each of our class meetings, to see what seems to be working and what we might change.