the real work of living

I’ve been living comfortably in my online persona for some time now.  I look back at my blog posts and have a sense of glee that I’ve made it to 35 posts.  It only took me 3 years!  As I scan the titles, I see some good academic work here.  A good sense of my values coming through and the direction I would like to go with my professional digital life and education.

But as I look at this digital self through the lens of autobiographical theory it falls flat.  While I have taken a few risks in sharing myself – my Week 5 reflection for ECI831 comes to mind (the punk-rock persona at the end) – I don’t feel as though I have shared my own personal struggles with finding meaning, like Jabiz did with his discussions of his father (see the pearl jam podcast), or like @cogdog did with sharing his mother’s stories.  Or like Bonnie did when she shared the pain of losing a child. 

Is my digital persona legit without sharing deeply personal stories of the struggle of life?

As I sit here this morning, it is tempting to immediately augment my digital presence with some lasting impression of my personal turmoil.  A tell-all of falling in love while in Peru, or a revealing reflection on finding forgiveness with my father as he struggles with losing his voice due to cancer.  Of course sharing these stories gives you an insight into who I am, but would the intimacy of our connection translate into the analogue world? Would I share these stories with you if we were in the same room?

See, the true conundrum of making this online self is that when I attend a tweetup or a conference, or even just find an afternoon to sit and play music, my analogue self becomes yoked to my digital representation of myself.  And aren’t we all afraid of becoming the “non-professional” persona?  allowing those cracks of real person to show through those suits that fit a little too tight… in ways, I keep a fine gloss over my asynchronous online persona.

But then there’s the synchronous world of #ds106radio, chat rooms and skype (as well as the nearly synchronous world of twitter) where I am myself in myself.  I am present, and presenting as close to an unedited, authentic self as is possible (self-delusion aside).   And as I look back, it is in these spaces where I have truly connected with people.  These are the spaces where I can cry.

I’ve recently come to realize that life is just a waste of time – you just have to choose what you want to waste your time on!  When we spend time – REAL TIME, you know that thing ticking away the seconds of your life (even as you read this!) – we create connections. There is no way to get around it.  There is no substitute for time.

Thanks for spending some with me.

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4 Responses to “the real work of living”

  1. I would never ever say you have to share anguish and and pain in the spaces you create and inhabit online… the whole beauty of this is we get to decide where on a spectrum we reside, no one mode is best except the one you choose.

    I think you said that 😉

    However, I do strongly believe that this process if narrating our lives, in whatever way we do it, is not important in the how, but that we do.

    You bring so much of yourself in all the spaces we see you, and what you do with music is as far from a waste of time as one can get.

    • onepercentyellow Says:

      I am coming to see that there are great tracts of myself that I hide or stories that are telling themselves over again, like records skipping. I’m looking to the narratives that I see online that move me to my core. The ones that are inexplicably human and humane. And trying to learn new ways of telling stories… and new stories to tell.

  2. […] this is a post I have wanted to share for quite some time…. Back in the summer when I was reflecting on the digital life I create here, I was leery of sharing my own experience of my father’s struggle with cancer. […]

  3. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.

    Any tips?

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