Monday, November 5, 2007

Digital Immigrants Making Friends

The entire process of making friends online is certainly different than than the one we used in gradeschool. Today, I met Alex Ragone in person. He's someone I have chatted with on email, in some forums, and I invited him to speak at the AIMS Conference today. I'm on the Academic Advisory committee for AIMS and my job is to select the technology sessions for the conference. I was impressed with what Alex was doing with Skype and asked him to present. He talked a little bit about how building relationships online is necessarily incremental.

I mean, you usually start interacting in text and then move on to audio and maybe photos, but video is last. That enthralls me. Think about it. Text is impersonal and private. Reading is a private activity. Seeing a photo of someone allows you to connect to that person on a visual level and that makes the relationship more intimate (keep your heads out of the gutters, please). Hearing that person's voice starts to shift the relationship even further and then once you see that person in video, you no longer have as many illusions about the person. Your imagination (your private sphere) no longer plays a role in developing that person's personality--it's just reality. Thinking about that process today made me see how the very PUBLIC NATURE of communication, of our entire culture these days is directly related to how we developed relationships in the "Gutenberg Galaxy." I wonder if these rules about how a relationship develops apply to the digital natives? I'm thinking not, but maybe....

1 comment:

alexragone said...

Hi Alecia,

I think your question is interesting. If you grow up in this fog of online public life, do you see it? Reminds me a lot of the Allegory of the Cave. I'm sure our kids are learning how to make relationships online. But are they aware that it is very different from life only a few years ago? Hmmm...

I just posted my updated presentation and a pdf of the handout here: Would you pass that along for the AIMS web site?

Thanks again for the opportunity to visit Baltimore. I enjoyed meeting you and appreciated your hospitality. The chance to collaborate with educators and put faces with names was priceless.