Chapters 1 and 2 of It’s Complicated: The Social Network Lives of Teens, by Danah Boyd (2014) outline virtual identities of teenagers, and views of privacy in relation to social networking. Our assignment was to read these chapters, and take notes/annotate and reflect on our own experience. In an effort to figure out how I might best present these notes, I stumbled upon Hypothesis, a resource for highlighting and annotating content shared with our class by Chris Aldrich. As it turned out you can create a private group and invite multiple people to annotate within the same document, so I decided to create one for this class and invite others to join in.

The irony is not lost on me that this reading was about virtual identity/public vs privacy and we were asked to discuss what public reading meant, and if performative nature comes into play for our #dailyponderance. While reading and annotating with others, you are essentially creating your identity as a learner among the group participants. Performative nature definitely comes into play. Suddenly you are exposing yourself as the type of learner you are, and your literacy capabilities. Other’s will be viewing what your highlighting and annotating. Some may even create their version of your identity based on what you highlight and share, which may not necessarily align with the identity you intended to portray.

In this particular case, I was not uncomfortable to put myself out there. In EDU522 we’ve been learning new things at an accelerated rate. I don’t feel self-conscious among my peers in this course because everything is new. I can, however relate to a particularly terrible experience I had in 8th grade History. That class structure was the same every day (with the exception of test days). We would take turns reading the text book out loud, and discuss the material. The teacher would depend on us to volunteer to read, but he would often call on you if you tried to avoid it. I was awful at reading out loud, and the anxiety I experienced every day for fear of being called on was at times unbearable. The days I did get called on rarely went well. I would lose my place, and stumble over words (even easy ones). I know that some of my peers viewed me as an incompetent classmate which was certainly not the identity I wanted, or even believed about myself.

At the end of the day, how you hope to present yourself (virtually or otherwise), and how others interrupt you may not always align. I think it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse there.

Feel free to check out the group I made here.