To find a interesting opening, I introduce a notion from current television show called ‘Halt and Catch Fire’. Although I just started, I learned one important thought from the first episode: a computer is not the thing we are looking forward to; computer is the thing that helps us get to see the ‘thing’.
A cyberspace, a term that stands for any of digital stage, is where we are right now, and it is the ‘thing’ in such space that interests all of us (Abercrombie & Longhurst, 2007). The life-long presentation on digital stage is a learning process, a educational pathway for each individual. In order to prevent or minimize the potential adverse effects from digital stage, there is a necessity to emphasize on the shifts from print to digital era, the negative influence on online behaviour and the online engagement and interactions that could take us to the next level in cyberspace.
With one hand holding the string from print era, we reached out another seemly stronger hand to the digital era. The creation of Web 2.0 opens doors to technology, tools and strategies to spread information. Microcontent and social media become primary engine for the growing content online. To publish something online, we find it much more easier, faster and accessible than before. The telling stories become daily routine for everyone (Alexander & Levine, 2008). For example, we use tweeter to tweet, Facebook to post and Instagram to share. ‘Snowball’ effect would describe how information is spread; links, comments and hashtags continuously create circles where potential readers would wander around online (Alexander & Levine, 2008).
With the mask of a screen in front of our mouths, we encounter the freedom of speech and challenges of self-presentation. ‘Disinhibition’ and ‘benign disinhibition’ are introduced. One could establish unusual kindness & generosity, or he/ she could be more aggressive or violent online. Reasons include online invisibility and asynchronicity (Suler, 2004). For example, online space provide us the option of delaying those responses to others who are waiting for hours, even days (Suler, 2004). Clearly, we need some sort of program that could teach us how to manage our online presentation, or cyberinfrastructure.
When constructing our cyberinfrastructure, we as students and educators particularly still need much more guidelines (Campbell, 2009). We are holding the ‘opportunity’ to express ourselves; we have online communication system in universities and colleges, Facebook and tweeter templates and blogs. Nevertheless, we are not using them properly mostly. A more personalized, organized orientation of cyberinfrastructure is required (Campbell, 2009). Although basic school online communication system is functional through mostly one-way direction (professors to students), it could be more interactive activities with less gaps between educators and students. All students, educators would absorb knowledge, not being onlookers that follow the existed frames of academic work (Campbell, 2009). There is always space for further improvements.
Along with the idea of being hosts online, it is important to know how to choose valuable engaging methods. Canada Reads and The Homeless Guy are two examples of how online contributors and writers create their engaging ways to the public (Grafton & Maurer, 2008). Bloggers would not only target the blog’s exigence of self cultivation and validation, but also annual literary events (Grafton & Maurer, 2008). John Mutford, a winner prediction in blog post, engaged with Canada Reads, circulating texts and opinions in public. Others like Barbieux, a host for The Homeless Guy, tends to link to other homeless blogs to promote the homeless blog as a “public and civic genre” instead of individual, personal voice (Grafton & Maurer, 2008). These are all ways to build up several channels from ourselves to the public in order to publish content that is meaningful. In order to master that, there is a lot work that requires both students who are willing to learn and speak, and educators who are willing to share, teach and grow knowledge with their next generation.
Again, we have created the Internet, computers and other technology-based tools that help us to reach the online self-publishing. The next step is to learn how to walk and run steadily, effectively, efficiently and passionately. With the recognition of the differences from print to digital era, we learn to be cautious about online behaviour. More importantly, this is the opportunity to create some online content that is unthinkable in the future.
Abercrombie, N., & Longhurst, B. (2007). Dictionary of media studies. Penguin Books.
Alexander, B. & Levine, A (2008). Emergence of a New Gerne. Web 2.0 Storytelling,1. EduCause Review. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://files.umwblogs.org/blogs.dir/3162/files/2010/01/web2.0_storytelling.pdf
Campbell, G. (2009). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/personal-cyberinfrastructure
Grafton, K., & Maurer, E. (2007). Engaging with and arranging for publics in blog gernes. Linguistics & The Human Sciences. 3(1). Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/ehost/detail/detail?sid=9dec45a1-81e8-4558-9b64-7f2553787cc1%40sessionmgr4004&vid=0&hid=4114&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=ufh&AN=36133600
Suler, J. (2004). The Online Disinhibition Effect. CyberPsychology and Behavior. 7(321-326). Retrieved from http://users.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/disinhibit.html