As a simulation educator I promote reflective practice with my learners in post-action debriefing sessions. This fortnight I have really delved deeps as this topic has resulted in a great deal of reflection as I examined my personal and professional online participation and evaluating just how digitally literate I am. Who am I in the digital age? Well I consider my self a digital immigrant. White, D. & Le Cornu, A. in their 2011 paper Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement, define the digital immigrant as “those of us not born into the digital world”. I was not born into the digital world, it was born into my world. I choose daily to enter into the digital world, but it is definitely my second language! How did I become fluent? To be honest I am only fluent in a few dialects – Twitter, FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, to name a few. The others like Tik Tok just seem like a language I don’t want to learn (not even sure I spelt it right). Mostly this decision to speak on certain digital languages is about return on investment. With Twitter, FB, Instagram I know the rules of engagement, and what rewards I get out of choosing to engage, but those other platforms… what can they offer me that I don’t already have? If it isn’t broken don’t fix it!

I am very conscious of how I present myself in the online space. I have spent years building my professional profile, so am very particular to control, where I can, the digital footprint I leave. I have some platforms that I engage with for personal use, and others that are purely professional. Whilst it was my initial aim that never the two would meet – it has not been the case. Facebook, my personal world, has slowly been infiltrated by professional colleagues, so that now it is no longer just family and close friends with whom I share my private time!

Even this blog post scares me. Sharing my unformed thoughts, with people I have only just met. I haven’t had time to polish my words, fact check the content…Will they judge me? Once I hit publish it is like exposing myself to the world. I feel incredibly vulnerable.

BLOG #1: Online participation and digital literacies