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phreNic's picture

 In my reflection over this course I tried to discover what had made me most uncomfortable and why. The materials themselves were interesting and fresh perspectives on topics I have given a great deal of thought. The best I was able to come up with was that the online conversations felt naked and premature. This is not an observation of other’s postings, but of my own contributions. In true Haraway fashion, I was best able to relate my reservations to metaphor.

That portion of the course felt like I was in a play and the theater was open to the public from the first day of rehearsals. Long before we were able to get comfortable in our roles, find our character’s voices. Now I understand that we are our characters but it is a presentation of self that is very different than inside a classroom. It is the creation of a virtual self. I also understanding that it is a dialogue and a learning process, but such perceived exposure so early on feels stunting.

In order to better to understand these feelings, I looked to those who were not uncomfortable. To those who had no conflict in presenting a cyberself. I realized it was not only a matter of socialization on the internet but a question of identity. Where does the self begin and end in relation to the technological extensions we have made for ourselves.

This is one thing that the scientific mindset seems to do us a disservice.  The strength of science is that it can quantify things and ideas in ways that can be measured and replicated. But replication implies some sense of universality. How we imagine the boundaries of our individual selves is a collection of quantifiable and intangible factors. Not even our many authors, fiction and non fiction agreed on how or where the self resides or the implications with certain distinctions.

What I did learn is that I consider even the most trivial of thoughts to be part of myself. The disconnection of my physical body from my ideas in such a public way is terrifying.  This seems strange to me since I write fiction and hope to one day be published. But fiction seems more like a presentation in which I can hide in a between my characters. I guess I am afraid of being tied down to a concept and even though the internet provides safety in numbers, it is the new definition of permanent.




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