Posted by: DCox | January 7, 2009

e-Storying

…we desperately seek to contribute – to be significant. Blogs give us this chance, and so does YouTube, and Twitter, and Facebook, and the rest. Suddenly we have things to say – and more importantly – people who are listening.

But these ways of “reaching out” or “giving back” to culture are still predominantly about me. About how I find meaning by bouncing ideas off of the wider web world. About feeling important, validated, useful, interesting.

It appears that ultimately we’re retreating further inward, to the “i” world of our personal computing universe. Under the guise of increasing our levels of connectivity, these technologies are ultimately just tools to help us isolate, insulate and unshackle from the outmoded constraints of having to answer to anyone other than ourselves. – from the article “The Problem of Pride in the Age of Twitter” in Relevant Magazine – Issue 37, p. 24

The premise of this article is that while we desire to be significant, the avenue that we’ve chosen to provide significance – the Internet – instead is self-serving and isolates us further. As I observe the 20-something generation (being a Baby-boomer), it seems that there is at least some truth to this generalization and the danger of getting caught up in it myself.

So this brings up a couple of questions for me:

  • Does a presence on the Internet provide significance?
  • If not, why blog?
  • Generally we repackage ideas we have learned elsewhere and then attempt to bring about dialogue as we reveal our unique thinking. If we are able to generate a lot of discussion on the Internet, does that make us significant? When is value added to society – is it through creating dialogue or as ideas are implemented? (Probably some of both, yet our culture is product oriented – we want measurable benefits.)

    At the end of the day, can significance and meaning be derived from electronic communication that is designed to make us look good? Yeah, we may feel good about ourselves for a day, but what happens tomorrow when no one responds to our e-self?

    avatar-3And this brings us to the experience of further isolation as we live more of our lives as an e-self. With some computer games, this is taken to the extreme where we can create avatars that are modeled after some ideal self. So now we’re interacting with others, not as our true selves, but in a fantasy world. What constitutes real relationship? … Isn’t it in the exchange of our real, vulnerable selves in trusting relationships where there is also the risk of being misunderstood or rejected?

    So why do I blog? – continued in my next article


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