Our theme for this week is "How do we perceive ourselves (and others) in the media ecologies in which we live?"
“We typically prefer not to meet ourselves in the world. And when we do encounter something of ourselves -- as when we get spooked by a dark forest -- we berate ourselves for our superstition. As children of the scientific era, we feel obligated to become dispassionate observers whose primary (and admirable) goal is to avoid meeting ourselves -- our biases and unconscious wishes -- in the world. But whatever the case may be with the natural world, we cannot avoid meeting ourselves within the sphere of the technological artifact.” (Talbott, n.d.)
This statement from Talbott made me wonder in what ways I attempt to “meet” or “know” myself, particularly as it relates to the technological artifacts I create and share with others. This line of thinking led me to explore the idea of the selfie as an artifact, which seem to be a line of serious research that is taking place. Is the proliferation of the selfie just a sign of narcissism or maybe a subconscious attempt to meet oneself through an online lens? As I was questioning the idea of selfie in an individual’s media ecology, I found the web site Human as Media, which included a post exploring the selfie within our media ecosystem.
“The selfie is not about posing; it’s about self-publishing. Classical narcissism is egocentric: Narcissus was happy to admire his reflection all by himself. Selfies, meanwhile, take the nature of narcissism to its direct opposite, with the objective now being to admire one’s reflection in the beholder's eye. Selfies don’t make sense unless they have an audience to be manifested to.” (A Miroshnichenko, 2014)
Selfie as self-publishing makes sense when viewed as a technological artifact with an audience with which to share. The selfie as a part of a curated view of one’s own life helps to create a perception for others to identify with that individual’s real self, which may or may not even be true. Miroshnichenko (2014) notes that it is not even individuals creating their own selfies but being prepared for selfie moments in public, such as a “kiss cam” at a sporting event. Our lives are being curated in new ways in this new media ecology, which was a new idea to me through this idea of how technology captures us in unexpected moments.
I’m not entirely sure how this relates to educational technology yet, except in this sense that learners today, ourselves included, have to navigate an always changing landscape of what is acceptable or expected of us to contribute to other’s perceptions of our own lives.
Fallon, K. (2014). Streams of the Self: The Instagram Feed as Narrative Autobiography. In Proceedings of the Interactive Narratives, New Media & Social Engagement International Conference. Eds. Hudson Moura, Ricardo Sternberg, Regina Cunha, Cecília Queiroz, and Martin Zeilinger. ISBN (pp. 978-0).
Ito, M., Sonja B., Matteo B., Boyd, D. Cody, R., Herr, B., Horst, H.A., Lange, P.G., Mahendran, D., Martinez, K., Pascoe, C.J., Perkel, D., Robinson, L., Sims, C., & Tripp, L.(2009). Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press
A Miroshnichenko. (2015, September 24). New senses, electronically induced. How gadgets reshape the human sensorium. Retrieved from http://human-as-media.com/2015/09/24/new-senses-electronically-induced-how-gadgets-reshape-the-human-sensorium
A Miroshnichenko. (2014, July 13). They see me, therefore I am. Selfies and the media ecosystem of lazy authorship. Retrieved from http://human-as-media.com/2014/07/13/they-see-me-therefore-i-am-selfies-and-the-media-ecosystem-of-lazy-authorship
Talbott, S. (n.d.). Media Ecology: Taking Account of the Knower. Retrieved from http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/knower.htm.