It seems crazy, but I’m still trying to find who I am in the grand scheme of things. In regards to this blog, I often hesitate to share some insight because, what if I omit another detail that people are inquiring about? Or how will people react if I say something too rashly and then regret it? Sure, I can delete the post, but by then people have seen it. And what if no one bothers to read it? What if they go “oh that same old tune? Bah!”
One major thing that has been stopping me from posting is that I don’t have official clearance to post about my internship assignment site. I worry that if I don’t post, people will assume something is wrong, or that my supervisors are forbidding it. If I do post, I’m violating that trust. In my case, let all who are worrying be assured that I am very content with my site and that I look forward to this upcoming year and with working with my supervisors. So no, I’m not saying where, but not because I’m upset or forbidden, we just haven’t gotten to that point yet. When I ask and receive confirmation, you’ll know.
In reading a few chapters from Sherry Turkle’s book “Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other,” I found it quite ironic that my rebuttal to some of her claims exposed my own fears. I thought some of her comments seemed quite negative concerning the information she got from the youth she interviewed. My internal response was “well yeah, they’re dealing with identity issues in a digital age, but they’d have the same issues in a non-digital world, it would just look different.” Worrying about what friends thought about my ‘favorite music’ on facebook would be replaced with the fear of negative comments when I start singing along to a song I like on the radio and everyone else can’t stand. It’s all about concerns we have about how others will perceive us.
And then it hit me that I was neglecting this blog for the same reason. I didn’t want people to hate me for what I said, what I thought, how long or short of a post, etc. But all those fears manifest in different ways in the non-digital realms of life as well. I’m aware of my miniscule interaction with movies compared to most of my friends. The clothing I buy and wear is based not only on whether I like it, but also on whether it will be accepted by those with whom I interact (will classmates at school think it looks cool without causing my professors to blush because of some inappropriate writing/image/concept/etc. on it?) and if it will fit with who I try to present myself to be (No bright, flashy colors, no risque images, family-friendly funny is a plus) the list goes on…
Realizing the fact that what these youth are dealing with in regards to technology permeates all of life, and that all are susceptible to it’s effects (even fabulous me) made me realize that it’s okay to make some risks, because that’s where we put our foot down and take a stand. It may cause some murmurs of concern (or approval) but it’s a good first step for figuring out what our “self” looks like–with the knowledge that it can and will undoubtedly change over time. In fact, it ties in perfectly with the readings for the Gadamer course I’m taking this semester as well. Gadamer (for those not acquainted with him, he’s a smart German theologian [who I believe is now dead] who wrote on the meaning of truth and method) claims that we can’t really know who we are because who we are is still in the process of becoming. In fact, even after we die, the memory and understanding of who we are will continue to change.
So in the grand scheme of things, I guess it’s okay that I don’t have it all figured out. I may not always know if something is appropriate to say or not say (on the internet or in person) but I can’t learn if I don’t try it out. And as long as I realize that I am a child of God, saved by grace through faith from the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus, I’d say I’m off to a pretty good start. In the process, I hope to find out some great new things about myself and others. I also hope that every comment I receive, whether positive or negative, will be a chance to learn and grow.
Until next time,
(And if it seems like it has been too long, don’t be afraid to let me know!)