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Hail Marshall McLuhan

September 1, 2012

Marshall McLuhan famously said  “The media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage.

Even though they were penned before the invention of the world wide web and its associated technologies these words can still serve as thought provokers for those of us who have or are thinking about becoming members of the media – the social media that is.

Whether you like it or not, and whether you intend to or not, from your first public post you will have an impact.

In the coming weeks this blog will explore the issues arising from the personal and professional use of social media.It has been designed to prompt discussion around topics such as Identity and the Presentation of Self, Social Networks and how to use them, Social Media technology – ways we use it- ways it uses us, Reputation Management, Ethics and Values and more.

What’s your experience personally and professionally with social media?

How has it touched and affected you?  Do you think your use of it has touched and affected others?

Please let us know by leaving a comment or suggestion or answering one of our polls.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2012 6:31 AM

    Great topic for discussion. As a former teacher I’ve seen the poor personal brand building teenagers can create for themselves online. Teeenagers especially, but even young adults are only just forming thier identitiy and while doing so are confronted with a open medium in whichh to develop and show off theur ‘identity’ that we didn’t have access to growing up. I think Social media can disguise young people’s true identity due to the social implications of fitting in.

    Look forward to your discussion.

  2. September 6, 2012 10:26 AM

    Thanks so much Sam. You are right there certainly is much in the literature about adolescents and identity on line. I will be sure and work some points in over the next few weeks. Great you were teacher…me too… a long time ago now though.
    Best Roxanne

    • September 13, 2012 8:32 AM

      Former teacher here too. What is it about teachers and communication I wonder??

  3. September 7, 2012 8:17 AM

    Hi Roxanne, good choice of Avatar and really like the concept for your blog. Like Sam, I’m keen to hear more – as I’m also acutely interested in the opportunities and conversations realted to self identity, self branding and self marketing that Social Media creates (forces?). FWIW, I’ve spent five years teaching in a previous life as well….(lol)

    • September 13, 2012 8:34 AM

      Wow, I thought two former (plus me) was unusual, but now you too Kerry! We must establish a Facebook group for teachers who believe in communication (in my case via librarianship as well). There is definitely a link.

  4. September 7, 2012 10:05 AM

    Hi Kerry All the best people are/have been teachers! I’ll be sure and remember you re identity etc…. and thanks for the smart insight re ‘forces”. Roxanne

  5. September 16, 2012 11:24 AM

    Hey Roxanne, sorry for the late response!
    Great topic hey, I love the fact that it is such a open canvas for discussion and debate. Certainly there is no one on the planet in this day and age that have not been touched by social media or are devoid of the effects of the online world. I do believe it (SM) is a living, breathing thing, not only does your first post create impact, it propels you towards new ways of observing, thinking, responding. I do think we live in a time of dynamic and exciting innovation on this thing called “Web 2.0”! But as with everything else it comes with its own ‘rules of the game’.
    And of course, I am still getting used to the whole “timeliness” thing with SM partly due to the reason that I try to regulate my “online time” because I find it can be quite addictive and before you know it you have used up your whole day on FB/twitter/chat!
    I will say this, that it does pose the danger of detaching the user from the ‘real world’ as we have seen in cases in the community of online gamers/video gamers. Thats what I feel anyway 🙂
    Have a good break,

  6. September 25, 2012 11:31 PM

    Hi Roxanne, really intersting and nicely tied in with the theory. I too am looking to some degree at the construction of identity online and its authenticity. I thought it’s worth noting that some theorists argue the internet is a great tool for teenagers to ‘try out’ new identities before they are comfortable with themselves to take them out in public. It also enables them to meet like minded people of that identity construct. A danger does arise, I believe, when individuals start to live in these identities and virtual worlds and find it difficult to take this to the outside/real world. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this? And for some more discussions on identity have a look at my page!/pages/Life-20/315894508527680
    Thanks Sarah

    • October 14, 2012 4:00 AM

      Thanks so much for visiting Sarah. I would agree that the internet certainly offers the ability to ‘try on’ identities online. Interesting the way you say “before they take them out in public”. I think this is one of the counter intuitive aspects of the internet. To me the internet is the MOST public of all spaces yet teenagers can quite easily treat it as intimate space where they can share their most private details. I suppose in reality it is both. Re your question about individuals living their life online and not taking it into the real world my only experience with virtual worlds is the game World of War Craft which my brother and sister in law and my two nephews play. They love it and because the whole family plays and they take it into the real world by having conversations about the game. They relay good stories or exciting events about what happened online. They might mention the people they have met from Texas or France Sweden by playing the game..( they know them by their characters of course ) some they like and some they don’t like and one of the things I’ve noticed is if one of the boys is not liking the way their own character is being treated by someone else’s character online they get the chance to discuss it and to work out how they should handle it. Just like they do if they come home from school and something has happened that day they need to talk about, good or bad. From what I’ve observed there is no confusion about what is the on line world and what is the real world…they are both real. One of my nephews keeps asking me to sign up so I can join in. I won’t be as its really not my thing and on a similar vein although I’d love to comment on your blog page I’m one of those strange people who doesn’t have and is not going to get a facebook page so I won’t be able to do so directly. Please treat this as my comment if you like and I hope you get lots of others.

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