We have a choice of what, who and how we want to portray ourselves in a digital environment, think about the movies Ready Player One and Avatar, what skin and personality would you adopt?

After spending time in an online community, we may start to identify with that community, and portray a version of ourselves which fits that optic. The need to express ourselves as individuals is innate. These expressions consider the reception of the community when executed in a group setting, it’s like a sort of cultural assimilation takes place. 

The assimilated identity does not necessarily mean that I’m being fake, we are required (just like in a face-to-face engagement) to read the room, consider how much space we are taking up as individuals, show empathy toward our community and become comfortable with engaging in conversations and artefact sharing. 

In order to make this is a reality, we turn to identify ourselves within the digital sphere, with what we are comfortable sharing and saying? The task is to first look inward and establish our personal boundaries and parameters. 

We can take a phenomenological approach and ask ourselves about the ‘experience’ in relation to the ‘event’. Considering that I am a ‘being-in-the-world’ (Satre, 1943), I am always in a place doing things, interacting with things as well as other people. We are always comporting ourselves in every setting. 

In a scenario, an Educator could seek to reflect on their own assumptions and ask themselves “why”. Why do I feel the way that I do in this digital setting, is there something sitting under the surface which may be a prompt for me to reflect inwards? Is my perception driven by assumption, perhaps fear of failure or another intangible unknown? Maybe I am stereotyping individuals in the room based on their intersectional nexus?

Acknowledge these crippling narratives which are giving rise to social digital anxiety. Once acknowledged, praxis should come into play. A learning cycle (Kolb, 1984) would be a good tool to overcome this anxiety.

Simple actions of repetitive; planning, action, reflection, planning, action, reflection, etc.

Down the rabbit hole we go Alice.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” – ― Lewis Carroll , Alice in Wonderland