Choose your self-presentations carefully, for what starts out as a mask may become your face. Erving Goffman
What is social networking?
Unpacking and defining the act of social networking in the 21st century is to consider more than leveraging the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies, platforms and tools or the willingness or desire to connect and communicate with others online using these platforms and tools. Social networking is about the interrelationship between self-representation (identity and reputation) and the affordances of social media platforms which provide opportunities to share this digital identity and leave behind a digital footprint of our sharing, exchanging, conversing via online connections (personal or professional or a mixture of both). Social networking in the 21st is also about satisfying the need for social acceptance and the satisfaction of a voracious appetite for instant gratification and how this contributes to our sense of self. We post, tweet/retweet, share, like or comment and sometimes suffer status anxiety if these activities are not immediately acknowledged. Finally, social networking is the dynamic relationship between a trinity – me and my connections and Web 2.0 technologies and tools.
Social networking technologies and sites I use
The social networking technologies and sites that I use have very clear and distinct purposes and influence how I represent myself.
I use Facebook to share my ideas and activities with friends. It is my place for memories and friends.
LinkedIn is reserved to document my career and academic and professional achievements. It is a tool for self-promotion. However, as Van Dijck (2013) points out, the architecture of both Facebook and LinkedIn are designed to promote narratives via a timeline style structure. LinkedIn is a more formal ‘narrative’ of me as a professional.
Twitter is my ‘go to’ for the latest trends and information on topics of professional interest. I have adopted Guy Kawasaki’s advice on reciprocity and aim to share or retweet to add value for those who follow me.
I use Pinterest to collect and curate information and media on a range of topics for myself and is a mix of personal and professional pins.
I recently explored Learning Island. It was a disconnected adventure and reminded me of the first day of High School – strange and new. I think I would benefit more from an occulus rift experience. Second Life would not be my preferred social network to meet or share online.
What I expect to learn from INF506
INF506 is an opportunity to critically examine the phenomenon of social networking and the potential it offers for ‘anywhere, anytime, connected’ learning. As a Learning Designer, social networking is a two-edged sword. On the one hand there are opportunities for subject matter experts, thought leaders, designers and students to connect, co-create and collaborate using technologies and platforms to contribute and share new knowledge and rich learning experiences. On the other, there are challenges which cannot be ignored and need to be acknowledged when designing these socially networked experiences-privacy, identity, data management and analytics. I expect that INF506 will provide me with opportunities and learning experiences to explore these topics to enrich and inform my learning design practice.
Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Anchor Books.
Marwick, A.E. and boyd, d. (2010). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), 114-133.
Van Dijck, J. (2013) ‘You have one identity’: Performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture and Society, 35(2), 199-215. doi:10.11770163443712468605.