Posted in Book Circle

Digital Self-Representations

For my book circle, I chose to read Jill Walker Rettberg’s Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves and really enjoying it so far. The main reason I chose this one among the list was because I have been one to stray away from using technology this way and still do for the most part. Also, I find it interesting that in my last digital literacy class, majority of my classmates shared this same notion; and at the end, majority (perhaps, even all) were thankful that we were required to literally dive in and expose ourselves via blogging and tweeting.

This book begins by describing the three distinct modes of self-representation in digital media and how each have a separate pre-digital history, which I found interesting.

The three modes of self-representation in digital media and their pre-digital history:

  1. Written:
    • Pre-digital: Diaries, memoirs, autobiographies
    • Digital media: blog and written status update
  2. Visual:
    • Pre-digital: artists’ self-portraits
    • Digital media: Selfies
  3. Quantitative:
    • Pre-digital: accounting, habit tracking, to-do lists
    • Digital media: quantitative modes of life-logs, personal maps, activity trackers

Takeaways thus far:

  • All three modes are intertwined in today’s new culture of learning
  • Other forms of digital self-representation: curation, sharing playlists on Spotify
  • Digital self-representation are images and words that allow for conversations

Personally, I know that a main reason why I have stayed away from digital self-representation is because society disciplines it through ridicule and pathologizing. So, what is it about young people’s uses of digital media that some of us educators don’t get? What are the harms for those who do so excessively? At one point doesn’t it become unhealthy if at all?


2 thoughts on “Digital Self-Representations

  1. Hi! I share a similar experience as you described. I have never tweeted and blogged before this class but I am starting enjoy the conversations now. I had no idea how educational blogging and tweeting could be. I guess I am still skeptical of letting my students completely go with access to technology but I am sure if I integrate it correctly into my curriculum I would have positive results. I am looking to build enough confidence through this class to get to that point.


    1. Anton, I echo your entire reply to my post. I know that our profession in working with college students are aligned and I understand your reservations about incorporating technology into the classroom. After all, I had to address one of my students about taking selfies in class with her phone (on multiple occasions)! It was bad enough that she doesn’t come to class regularly, comes in late, and sits in the back of the class. In any case, I would like to bring the class that I will be teaching next fall up to the 21st century and use technology as a means to collaborate and learn along with each other and beyond our classroom. Trust me, with an instructor like ours and learning about different digital applications, I am confident that you’ll gain that confidence!

      Liked by 1 person

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