There was a very interesting article today called “Professor Avatar” which discussed the ways in which our online personas mediate our interactions with our students and the world.
“academic avatars show a hunger to be seen and consumed by colleagues and students. ‘Look at me,” they say, “know me, this is me. I am interesting. I am accomplished. This is what I want you to know about me.’
I hadn’t really thought of adding all the bits of me online as avatars–both as bug_girl and IRL, but he’s absolutely right. After he discusses faculty home pages for a while, he goes on to say:
“For example, all those anonymous, stylized and sometimes unhinged academic bloggers may be termed Anonymous Avatars. They indulge in elaborate alternative lives full of flamboyant rants, public displays of sorrow and ultimately, solidarity and communion with the avatars that read, comfort and affirm them and their experiences.”
No Comment. Hmm.
“We make countless choices, conscious and otherwise, about what to reveal about ourselves and how to stylize ourselves. The end result is our avatar who speaks for us on the Web. We fundamentally change our relationship to our students, who become viewers and consumers of our avatars, and who may increasingly interact with us through avatars of their own…. “
What do you think–is he onto something, or just On something?