The Internet In Real Time

This post started as a quick link to the first picture, but quickly unravelled into some thoughts about my own digital identity.

This has been making its rounds on the Twitter-Ed-o-Sphere in the past week or so and so I submit it for your viewing pleasure:

Click the animation to open the full version (via penny stocks).

When I was first making my mark on the world as a teacher, I was very aware of how much data I put online and constantly curated my posts and my friends’ posts on my Facebook wall. Some things were left up for a couple of days, some for longer periods. Most of my thoughts were around building my professional identity, specifically, how I represented myself as a brand. In the past few years, how I use Facebook has changed. I still keep in touch with my friends from University but since we don’t spend as much time together, there is less to post about. Now it’s mostly pictures of my kids so I can share them with friends and relatives and pictures of barbecued food… also so I can share them with my friends and family. The relationships that I’m focused on are different, so how I use the tool is different.

Last year, I started using LinkedIn to keep track of my personal work history. As I was getting into it, I kept contemplating what I was doing signing up for another social network. Where I wound up was that I was going to use this site to keep in touch with some of my friends and acquaintances. At the same time, I was thinking about what the purpose of my Twitter and Facebook accounts would be for. Each tool/site has its strengths and each handles communication and profiles in different ways. Thinking about this, I decided to take advantage of those strengths and to focus my online interactions/relationships with people based on our relationship and what tools they use. Facebook is where I focus my closer relationships, LinkedIn for my friends who could be considered contacts, and Twitter would be more of a public persona. This isn’t to say that this is a strict rule – I have some people in all three camps, some in two, and others only in one. I guess, even a while ago, I was contemplating my identity as a digital resident (see this post for context).

Earlier this week, I saw this tweet, which got me thinking about my digital identity again (and this re-hashing the above thoughts in my head):

I’m still getting used to Twitter as a part of my identity. In person, I’m quite vocal; online, I tend to be a lurker. I like to gather information and share it with people one-on-one. Tweeting links and quick thoughts isn’t necessarily my thing. I often go many days in a row without tweeting a thing or even a single re-tweet. Growing my online presence will mean more active participation in a larger network of teachers. I’m grateful for the things I’ve been learning while I have been participating in #DCMOOC; it makes me feel part of a larger community.

One way I’ve started to work on my sharing is to overhaul my bookmarks page. At first, it was just a few links I entered manually, but I’ve since switched over to pearltrees. I like that I can quickly bookmark to my site through a browser extension; it works well with my work flow. I think that qualifier is the key to moving forward; when I add a social site/service, it needs to work with what I’m doing or make my life easier.

So I’m curious, how do you manage your digital self? What are your tips and tricks to make life “in the real world” and “digital world” flow together?

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