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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A monkey on my back

My name is Andy and I am a blogger. Like most personal problems, I was unaware of this fact until it was too late. A year ago this week, I turned to blogging as a form of mental exercise but I never thought it would become a habit. “I’ll just try it,” I thought. That was 360 posts ago – one a day without fail.

If you read this blog regularly, you realize that I haven’t written that many posts here. I’m not referring to this blog. It’s my other blog that’s nearly a year old.

One of the difficult aspects of working for an online degree program is that there’s always a chance that a student, or a potential student, will type my name into Google. Go ahead, give it a try. I promise, the results aren’t exciting. And that’s the point – I’ve crafted a purposefully boring online persona, at least under the name my parents gave me.

There is, however, another ‘me’ who blogs every day. He doesn’t have to worry that he’ll offend someone and cast a negative shadow on UIS. He’s free to have an opinion or free to complain about a bad day. That ‘me’ has 4 blogs, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an email address. That other ‘me’ isn’t that exciting either but he’s the unguarded part of my personality.

I wonder how younger people will deal with this sort of multiple personality disorder? They’re growing up on the Internet and it is recording every horrible, awkward moment of their young lives. My generation has had to deal with embarrassing high school yearbook photos but their entire adolescent suffering is being recorded and archived just waiting for them to enter a career path. Are we going to see a trend of people legally changing their names so that they can reboot their identities?


Anonymous said...

Now this is interesting because I, too am a blogaholic. As you can probably tell, I'm one of the most avid posters who often checks your page on Blogger to see if anyone else is just as fervant a blogger as I am. And I came to the conclusion that it seems to be just us at the moment.

My daughter is one of those teenagers that you mentioned who is always on the computer. In fact, I think the majority of her life is spent in front of the computer screen. If it weren't for school dances and sports games, mall visits, and the occasional walk to the kitchen and bathroom, she would be one with the the pc. She'd be married to Microsoft Vista and dating Acer on the side, with the occasional fling with HP, lol. Just a few months ago at the beginning of the school year, she was forced by her own will to break up with one of her favorit loves, Second Life because she even noticed that she was spending wayyy too much time online. She's on the honor roll and is currently taking two honor's courses and one advanced placement course, so there is absolutely no room for play. She also got rid of her MySpace page, which I think was a good thing considering the peasants lurking on that site.

Well Andy, you're not alone. So many of us lead very busy lives, but still desire that social aspect of life, whether online or through face-to-face interaction. I honestly don't see a problem with having multiple online identities, but my advice...just don't lose yourself in them. It's easier to say what you really think and feel in an online capacity, but as they say...keep it real! It's nothing quite like having multiple identity disorder, but losing our true selves in them, lol.


Dan B said...

Howard Rheingold brings up the subject of technological self-restraint and of being selective of technology in his Wired article, "Look Who's Talking:
The Amish are famous for shunning technology. But their secret love affair with the cell phone is causing an uproar."...


Now for personal confession time:

I've never been much of a cell phone user. When I'm driving, I'd rather be listening to cd's cranked WAY up, and when I'm out shopping or walking around stores, I want to enjoy that experience, if possible. Nevertheless, I consider it almost a necessity for keeping in contact.

Worse yet, I've never text-messaged (does that ever reveal a generational gap), and at present I wouldn't have any use for a Blackberry or I-phone. I don't lug around my old HP notebook to campii because there's usually a computer lab close by that I can jump on and check e-mail if I have to...

I'm afraid I'm becoming technologically dysfunctional, which is very weird because I can plan and develop websites using CSS and Flash and am taking a course in Visual Basic computer programming while at the same time I can't figure out what the heck is going on in Facebook or Myspace.