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Impersonal The Person

March 24, 2014 Leave a comment

In her interview with Brian Lehrer, Danah Boyd discusses contemporary challenges in child maturation. Well-versed in technologies complicated relationship with parents and their children, her work bases its conclusions on anecdotal evidence with young people. Her arguments are cogent and well-researched, and present a slew of new ideas about technology. From Boyd it becomes clear that a new perspective about technology must be developed to educate both parents and children. How has the internet changed the way we mature? Clearly, the relationship between peers has been altered drastically by technology. In Boyd we hear the complicated levels of these changes: alterations both for peers in similar age groups and between peers of different groups.

Each generation relates to technology differently. The ways in which an older generation uses Facebook is drastically different from a younger generation. Despite a common platform the two groups both utilize and understand the technology differently. From this great void of understanding comes significant confusion. How do children relate to their parents posting on Facebook? What do children do when their parents refuse them Facebook access or insist they function as a gate-keeper?

As our relationship with technology develops so to will our relationship with those who use technology. Just as users of Facebook come to understand the platform, the means of understanding others who use the platform will develop. Will a sense of someone’s “Facebook-self” become more common? Are we capable of allowing someone to exist as someone else on the internet? The online world is rich with opportunities to be someone else. In these new identities an amazing wealth of power can be seized. Where confusion enters the picture is when these distinct personalities are blurred. With the use of alternative identities it becomes critical that distinctions remain intact. How do parents keep their children safe? Ultimately each family must reach their own conclusion; though, a recognition of the multiple identities of online life is essential. Disregarding this is to disregard the rules of the internet and the very reality in which we live.

 

Tracing the Tree: Historical Family Texts

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Limited though we are, our notion of who we are and how we exist is an amalgamation of

memory and history. We do not exist as blank, objectively focused actors in the world. Instead we are the latest models in a long line of family. Defining these roles are the historical documents that link past to present. The family photo album is less record, more instruction manual when the grandson views pictures and considers dress, attitudes and roles.

In these documents we  see social class and history; we view  cultural behaviors and learn who it was that came before. How did they look back then? What did they wear and what did they do? Our historical record answers these questions and suggest identity.

In a world rich with documentation the proverbial apple falling from the tree remains forever in free fall. In our documents we find apple, tree, and branch.

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