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Third Spaces

kwyly's picture

I have been not so keen on spending this time on twitter and fairly unenthusiastic about twitter as a constant form of communication. I definitely see the benefits of it, and if I had an iphone or something similar maybe I would feel more in the loop with the ability to see the whole twitter website, but I am feeling like it is difficult to be constantly engaging in this online way of communication. All of this is true, but Emily's tweet "really enjoying the "third spaces" of this 360- as in conversations that are not strictly social OR class related" helped me realize the potential of twitter! (thanks, Emily!) I really like the idea of creating spaces that merge different topics, interests, and situations; clearly Twitter has the power to constantly engage our class in a way that cannot be achieved just in the classroom. Recently, I have read articles for anthropology classes that describe the concept of "third spaces". Both Asaf Bar Tura's "The Coffeehouse as a Public Sphere: Brewing Social Change" and Ray Oldenburg's "The Good Place: Cafes, Coffeeshops, and Book stores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community" address the idea of third spaces as physical places for social interaction that bridge separate spheres. I hadn't considered the potential for third spaces to exist in other forms beside as locations. Viewing twitter as a possible space that bridges different communities and thought processes has helped me move past considering twitter as only a form of informal electronic conversation. I think it is important to create spaces that encourage many different communities of people with different ideas to contribute and collaborate for discussion and change. Although twitter is not a way to do this in physical and usual ways, an online community does exist as one of the most effective transitional spaces possible. Now, instead of viewing twitter as a aid strictly for class, I am going to try to embrace the possibilities for extensive communication with different communititeis (through at least reading the conversations of others outside of #BMCed25).


et502's picture

I really like the frame that

I really like the frame that Alice gave us for twitter - drinking from a river of information. Like going into a coffeeshop - you can’t hang out and drink coffee and talk about life all day (though that would be nice), but it’s a great practice to check in with a conversation group on a semi-regular basis. In high school, one of my teachers called spaces like cafes, bookstores, and parks the “Commons.”
To respond directly to Alice’s questions - When I wrote that tweet, I was considering some conversations that I’d had with classmates in that brief period just as class was ending and we were about to go to lunch. I was defining that third space as being the transition/bridge between school and recreation - a natural method for helping us “travel” between two worlds. I hadn’t even thought about twitter itself as being the third space until i was midway through the tweet! It’s these in-between conversations - the organic connections we make between different subjects - that make our college experience so rich.
alesnick's picture

tweeting a third space?

such rich connections, and thank you for renewing your curiosity, as well.  Several literacy scholars have used the idea of the third space, or thirding, as well.  See for example and also work of Guitierrez. If one=home discourse and two=school or work, what might third=?  Where there isn't an expectation of one set of conventions prevailing, what inquiries and relationships can evolve?