from footprints to heartprints

When the Internet was in its early stages there was a big concern about leaving footprints in the network which other people might capture, use and misuse. Today, with the proliferation of the Web 2 technologies people are not only leaving footprints but heartprints. This is something I particularly noticed in FOC08 where many of the participants are in the field of Education and are more transparent and are hesitant to be misleading others. As such, in blogs and in other social networking tools available members just shared personal information – including feelings and their moment to moment whereabouts.

On the other side of the pole are seasoned internet dwellers who log in under pseudo names and would hardly leave anything identifiable. They usually thrive in being able to live in the fantasy of many identities, sometimes totally opposite to who they really are in the physical world, e.g., men living out a character of a woman and vice-versa. While the presentation of Kellan Elliott-McCrea entitled Casual Privacy appear loose, it still highlights the dilemma of people who want to be part of this evolving virtual social milieu. The options he identified are as below:

If the emerging social arena is global, collaborative, and virtual can one really afford to continue holding one’s cards close to one’s chest? All the people I know who would not even use ATM machines and would not purchase anything on the internet using their credit card are fast getting to be “techno-peasants,” clinging to the industrial era model and refusing to move on with the growth of civilization enabled by technology.

On the other hand, when one shares everything and withholds nothing, could that not be an invitation to indeed be virtually assassinated, maligned, abused, etc.? But then again, when one has so many different characters already in place in virtual reality, so what if one of them gets “assassinated” and dies?

The new technologies are changing traditional models and theories about how things work in every field. I am so fascinated as I try like Jeffrey Keefer and others in FOC08 to be a Transformative Learner.

As a facilitator with years of experience in f2f work, I naturally find it relatively easier to work with (facilitate) in an environment where there is greater openness among members/participants. Having said that, I realize that in a global, collaborative, virtual world, one might not really have the luxury of that choice most of the time.

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One Response

  1. Just for the record thats the 5 minute version of the talk. There is a longer version I keep meaning to upload.

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