Those who attended yesterday’s Research Exchange may be interested to know the outcomes of my identity explorations with the Ormskirk Scouts. Well, most impressive, as young people so often are. Live photos are not generally the way forward to present your identity on-line. My conversations with the young people suggest this: “When we enter cyberspace, we enter a new world. We don’t take our old world with us and try to represent it.” Muppetman (created using avatar cartoon design software) is a unique, cyber-identity I have taken on in a world in which generational identity is diminished in importance. Key to the young people is in fact the uniqueness of Muppetman. They will trust that identity because it has been uniquely created for that purpose (and this kind of identity creativity is very important to young people). Your photo, they said, could be anybody’s. And I seem to remember some colleagues saying the same thing at Research Exchange.
But here’s a new challenge for MuppetMAN. If generational identity is diminished in on-line fora, what about geneder identity?
For those who did not attend Research Exchange, the challenge for academics, I currently feel, is to be clear about where the boundaries are betwen the representation of the real world (the standard web site?) and the entrance to the alternative cyber world. Posts welcome, your attendance at the EICIN Symposium at Woodlands on 24th March even more welcome. You will meet some very creative forward thinking young people!