Dear fellow Babblers,
Stop. Think. Observe. Where are you reading this babble? What are you doing? What are you wearing? What do you look like? What are you stopping from doing? What are you thinking about doing? What are you observing someone else doing? How do you see yourself? Now? Yesterday? Tomorrow? How do you perceive yourself? Loving? Fun? Pretty? Handsome? Fat? Thin?
Now allow us to enter the blogosphere…
You set up your account. You choose a username that « suits you », an image that « best defines you » and enter the virtual world with an intended voice aimed towards an intended audience. You spend hours each day enhancing you profile with hopes of a greater following, add content to your ” About Me ” and write the thoughts you want the world to become exposed to that flutter from your mind into the computer space. Now ask yourself the same about questions. Stop. Think. Observe. Etc…
So… who are you in the blogosphere? Why did you choose that particular username? Profile pic? Why did you choose to write about this instead of that? Who are you anyway?
Writing this post in real time, I ask myself the same questions. Looking through my posts, this username, this profile picture, the ideas I am writing about this image I have created of myself in the blogosphere gives you, fellow babblers a skewed perception of myself. Only one of my stories are being told. On the facebook platform, perhaps there is another more personal projection of myself. Goodreads? Yet another. And twitter? Another. All these identities come to exist from myself, one being in real time and space and enters the digital realm entirely independent of myself, and branches into different direction and spheres of intent and influence.
As I write, I’m inclined to think about Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, « The Danger of a Single Story » in relation to the perceptions we receive of others and the various ways we choose to represent ourselves to others depending on various spaces. Adichie never speaks directly over the technology world during the talk, but I am sure she is thinking along these lines… How about her bestselling book Americanah for example? Don’t our protagonists, Ifemelu and Obinze, both have very different experiences in communicating with each other in dependence of the multiple mediums they rely on: the blog, email, chat rooms, etc? Doesn’t Ifemelu’s blog somehow create a different Ifemelu, alienable from the physical Ifemelu? Doesn’t the blog, as it grows, and gains supporters, somehow begin to exist independently of the writer and somehow mask the writer’s identity?
In today’s world there is a growing apprehension of technology as a place of global « connection » and « interaction » Who and what are we exactly connecting with? Where is the true interaction? How can we be sure? Sadly, I don’t think we ever will gain any viable certainty… Don’t we all choose what to post ? What photos to upload? With whom we interacting? Can’t we easily delete, edit, « re »publish just about anything nowadays? There are multiple stories; projections of ourselves that we offer to this increasingly solitude-inducing world. As humans, we want social contact and a feeling of global, participatory connectedness. However, technology has complicated matters and given us a paradoxical existence. Who I am, the babbler, am I the babbler? I babble, therefore I am.. Am what?
Writing in this space, I choose, and reflect upon my word choice. I have opportunities to go back and change what I say. I interact with users across the globe and discover and am able to locate information quickly to make myself appear smarter. I have opportunities for growth and contact. The babbler, Delphine in the blogosphere becomes a stranger from the babbler, Delphine, in the real world. As users, we are swept into a new, transcendental, illusory cosmos rendering the blogosphere the estrangosphere. We are only one story in the blogosphere. A work of fiction which seeks to represent alienable qualities of who we are, the blogosphere, and all other media platforms, are strangers to us thus adhere to the dangers of a single story.
Thoughts? Ideas? Resonance? Too philosophical? Leave thoughts, criticisms, babbles in the following comment box!
(Image credits go to Google).