"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Authenticity and Multiplicity

I think a lot about identity and the online persona.  I'm not sure you could have social media accounts and not be aware of how others percieve you.  That sense of your perceptions of other people's perceptions of you YPOOPY thing, that social cognitive framework that we're always building.

Some things that resonated with me from this week's readings, in bullet form:

  • "transparency is so chic"
  • navigating multiplicty
  • polysemy (coded communications for different audiences)
  • friends
  • "I only tweet anything I'd say in a lobby"
  • authenticity (itself and as a social construct)
  • situationalism (people react to situations based on context)
  • audience
I guess for me, and probably for lots of people with online identities, we are all situationalists.  At work, we have one way of being, another with our friends, another still for classmates, and especially a different persona online.  That word, "polysemy" will be my generative word this week, thinking about coding our speech for different audiences.  

I have a lot of thoughts about online vs. "real life" spheres.  I think many of us are careful at work, guarded until we know we can trust like-minded folks. I think that there are a lot of ways that we utilize mutliplicity to protect our work selves when we're not in a position of power, or not in a position of financial indepence (also a position of power).  

I'm sure we'll have many different discussions about this, but I'm different at work than I am in class, and I'm different online, as well.  I think all of those differences (multiplicities) are examples of how much we are willing to let others get to know our real "authentic" selves.  Online it is easier to be the liberal activist, animal rescue, existentialist, bookish feminist, because there are more people like me online, who I follow, and who follow me---it is "safer" to be my more authentic self because of some vague anonymity and the overwhelming volume of the posts on the site on which we post.  It is easy to lose my specific signal in the noise, if that makes sense.  At work I find it's smarter to be polite and genial, and not really talk about myself, because the people at work for the most part do not share my interests.  My class self is somewhere on a continuum between the two.  

Here's a little gif set from one of my favorite TV shows (30 Rock) that speaks to both my online and my graduate student self: 


  1. Ugh, graduate students!! Thanks for this insightful post. Caitlin.
    From an anonymous friend in California.....

  2. I'm sort of the opposite when it comes to my online personality vs. authentic personality. Online, I feel like I'm a lot more guarded about what I say and do and post. There are always so many people saying "watch out for what you put on the internet, it never goes away", it's made me super paranoid. I also think that with Facebook, I am "friends" with my family and my husbands family, I don't want to say anything to offend anyone. My social anxiety now include social media....sigh.

  3. I would be interested in knowing if connectivism and digital literacy have found a place in Adlt 650? After taking the 642 course, I realize that there are other discussions about literacy that are relevant in today's society. These conversations would address Lauren's concern.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.