the two wolves revisited….

I have been struggling with the significance of this digital realm over the past year, and in particular my last post.  I went from super-mega-uber-digital-connection – participating in #eci831, stalking #dtlttoday, writing on identity and autobiography, digital post-colonialism, and spending inordinate amounts of time on #ds106radio – and then I began a new journey in South America.  Travel made connection difficult, and then, as I mentioned, I drank the draught of Tristan and Isaeult – the cup of romantic love – and forgot about everything else.  In fact, I welcomed this life of extreme presence, and now, on the other side of this life-changing experience, I am left considering the effect presence has had on my digital life, my theories about learning, and my decision of where to share.

So, at the end of this relationship I decided to commit digital suicide – (at least Facebook suicide!) – as I began to evaluate how I interact in the digital world and why.

I came to realize that my asynchronous consumption of the lives of my friends and family through FB was actually preventing me from being close to them and drawing the emotional energy I needed in this time of extreme turmoil.  By knowing what they were doing, seeing pictures, and seeing their “likes” and brief comments on my postings, I was duped into believing that I was connected.  In fact, this post by Jeff Utecht helped me frame this language of consumption vrs. connection – and I think the level of engagement as well as the degree of synchronicity are key in moving toward the connection end of the scale.

Facebook gives you many levels of engagement – the short post of twitter, the lasting groups of photos, the video, the email message, and the chat all in one.  You can look over and “see” folks hanging out on FB alongside you, check on their most recent adventures, either from their own posts or others, and feel as though you’re living in the digital space right alongside them, but unless you are taking the time to send those individual messages, or making the time to meet up in other synchronous ways (Skype, or gasp telephone!) you’re not really sharing your energy with them – or at least I wasn’t.  I realized that I was stalking instead of talking to my family.  I was allowing them to glean the goings-on of my life from my wall posts, and I was feeling lonely even though I spent so much digital time with their avatars.

Somehow I don’t see my other platforms this way.  I wonder if it’s because when I write here in my blog, I’m putting much more time and consideration into a post – reading and looking back – revising and exploring my own verbose expression (to the chagrin of my readers, I’m sure!).   And here, I’m writing a lot for myself and am pleasantly surprised when someone takes an interest.  I’ve never fooled myself into thinking that this is the space to get that energy of connection.  On twitter, I am connected to my digital people – folks I would not know how to reach otherwise – and I am largely speaking directly with others around topics of common interest.  Keeping conversations ordered means that I will continue a discussion under a #hashtag that I may allow to slip down the FB stream into digital oblivion.

I find myself engaged in these other spaces in a way I was not on FB.  I feel these other spaces are a better indication of who I actually am, where FB was increasingly becoming a production of a life for others to consume.  So, I’ve left the blue box and returned to these other spaces – and have been instantly rewarded!  Time to spend listening to my #ds106radio friends, time to write direct emails to people, time to create music and participate in asynchronous jams.  This is the thing I keep remembering – there is only one clock, and the more time I spend on a manufactured life made for FB consumption, the less time I have to share life in the analogue and digital spaces that give me energy.

Will I return to FB?  Likely… at least to have my musical profile up there… but I won’t add my analogue friends there.  They can find me in my other varied spaces – and hopefully I’ll get some more emails!

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3 Responses to “the two wolves revisited….”

  1. I really want to see the wolves closely ~ ~ ~

    • onepercentyellow Says:

      Crystal. Thanks for the reply. In this post I’m talking about the Navajo story of the two wolves. Look it up! It’s a great story.

  2. onepercentyellow Says:

    Crystal. Thanks for the reply. In this post I’m talking about the Navajo story of the two wolves. Look it up! It’s a great story.

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