As we’re reaching the fourth week of PUB 101, I am loving my blog more and more.
The aesthetic and functional choices I’ve made for melatonin gone missing have contributed to making my personal cyberinfrastructure everything I have wanted it to be. I created these diagrams below as a map to my site, adding onto last week’s process post to further visualize and explain my intentions for each element I have installed. There are a few aspects thus far that I am very attached to (such as the overall appearance and layout of my homepage), and some that I am anticipating will change in the future as my blog develops. This flexibility is important to me, as I do not want to be creating content that is filtered through certain criteria just to fit what previously exists on my blog. Instead, I want my site to be dynamic with who I am as a person, therefore it must be easy to adapt and still navigable with each and every change.
My Online Self
Moving away from website design, owning a personal cyberinfrastructure means ultimately managing an online self. Although I and most people have spent years growing their online personas on social media and other platforms, there are many facets of the online self that I am still learning to navigate. Referencing John Suler’s “The Online Disinhibition Effect“, here are instances where my online behaviour has previously resembled one of Suler’s six types of behaviour, and how my behaviour using this blog may reflect one in the future.
Confession time: I was one of those middle schoolers who had a fan account. I used this account to post updates about cast members from my favourite show, and it remained anonymous except for my first name (which was only known to people I became friends with or frequently direct messaged). In fact, I ensured my identity would never be revealed, for safety reasons and because this dissociative anonymity allowed me to feel like an entirely different person whenever I posted. I felt fearless and confident about saying things that I would consider to be embarrassing if I had posted it from my personal Instagram account. I felt like I could talk to more people and make friends with different common interests than my friends in real life, since being anonymous gave me the confidence to spark up conversations or block someone I felt weary of. Despite my identity being publicized on this blog on the “about me” page, the general secrecy of this blog from most people in my life has created the same dissociative anonymity that fuels my confidence to post about whatever I want, and be authentic about everything I say.
As I mentioned previously, I wasn’t afraid of blocking people on my fan account, even if it was mid-conversation via direct messages. The asynchronicity of online communication makes it simple to drop out of conversation or ghost someone forever. This type of behaviour is one I exhibit in my everyday life, as I am a chronic late-texter. I have noticed that when text conversations have large time-gaps between messages, the conversation either a) remains quite shallow, and doesn’t feel much like an actual conversation at all, or b) consists of paragraph word-dumps, the sender clearly taking the opportunity to get it all out before the receiver replies. My blog is, for the most part, generally not personally interactive, so asynchronicity is not a type of behaviour that I am likely to exhibit here.
Using my fan account as an example, again, it felt normal to write post captions that were essentially reaching out to these celebrities I was posting about. Given the fact that I was addressing people with status and fame, whom I would never dare to address if I met them on the streets (let alone with the confidence of an anonymous fan account), it’s quite intriguing how we view and treat everyone as equals in online spaces. The same behaviour is demonstrated when I make blog posts that address an author or artist as I would a casual friend.
Online VS Offline
Reading Craig Mod’s “How I Got My Attention Back” provoked me to reflect on how technology has impacted the way I perceive and act in my everyday life. Mod notices how certain online activities can make you feel distracted, obsessed, and out of touch with reality. I can certainly relate to feeling like this, as endless scrolling on TikTok and Twitter draw me out of the real world for hours at a time, infiltrating my mind with rapid, mindless entertainment. However, like Mod experienced in his month offline, I find that being in nature feels extremely healing, and allows my mind to actually flicker on, metaphorically speaking. In my ideal life, I am in an isolated house in the woods, completely void of online access. I know this life would suit me if I could escape real-life obligations because despite what my screen-time might imply, being online is not where I feel the most pleasure or feel most relaxed. Mod realizes that exercising your attention by disconnecting helps to feel grounded and in control of yourself, and I really resonate with this whenever I can dislodge my phone from my hand. Being online feels necessary for many parts of my life right now, but I’d like to hope that one day the world will realize that technological innovations will only continue to restrict us from truly living, and we can all spend a little more time being disconnected.
Campbell, G. (2009). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure
Mod, C. (2017). How I Got My Attention Back. WIRED. https://www.wired.com/2017/01/how-i-got-my-attention-back/#.djqfcpajo
Reilley, M. (2023, January 30). Copy editing. Journalist’s Toolbox. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.journaliststoolbox.org/2023/01/30/copy_editing_resources/
Suler, J. (2001). The Online Disinhibition Effect. The Psychology of Cyberspace. https://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html