Our new Headmaster began his tenure at school today with an address to all of the staff. He made clear his vision for education at our school and I admire his clarity and explicit approach to this new role. The Head’s wife and two sons were present for the whole staff meeting. This made me reflect on the whole identity issue in blogging in cyberspace as opposed to physically present: the public and private divide I have been preoccupied with the last couple of days. In fact a quotation by Viviane Sefarty in the Rettberg book “Blogging” refers to “the veil of the screen” on Page 12. This is an interesting description that has resonated with me. Why have I chosen a wedding like veil image to depict my response to the issue of online identity today? Is it more appealing to readers than the new garden fence I depicted yesterday? The subjective meanings are hidden behind the veil: this image reminds me of my wedding three months ago which is nostalgic (even though I didn’t wear a veil!) In contrast the fence yesterday represents the practicalities and reality that we are having my crazy springer spaniel (“Jerry Springer!”) back this weekend. Which is more private? Which of these two images is more reflective of me? How is my online identity different from my real life identity?
The first chapter of Rettberg’s book discussed three different types of blogs: personal blogs like dooce.com, filter blogs like Kottke.org and Topic-driven Blogs like Dailykos.com. I have read about and looked at each distinct type of blog.
I am predominantly a personal blogger…I should set myself the challenge of trying the other two styles of blogging……
Rettberg further develops the idea of the blog as a means of self-exploration in Chapter 5 where she discusses Blogs as narratives:
“Viviane Serfaty characterizes weblogs as simultaneously mirrors and veil (Serfaty 2004). Just as we study ourselves in a mirror, shaping our features so our reflections please us, so we creat a reflection of ourselves in a weblog. A the same time, we use our blogs to veil ourselves, not telling all but presenting only certain carefully selected aspects of ourselves to our readers.”
Don’t worry folks I won’t add yet another symbol of a mirror….(I think I have done the symbols enough!) However, I will try to add a link to Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror”:
I think that is a link to a youtube reading of the poem – it used to be on the Edexcel GCSE specification for Literature and the girls used to love it! Guess what? The section of the poetry anthology was called: IDENTITY!!!! Thank goodness it wasn’t subdivided into frontstage or backstage – Giddens mentions the mirror as a self-reflexive project….I reflect that I need bed! My reflection in the mirror concurs….night all!