who needs the most help: muggles vs. wizards?

danah boyd’s “Incantations for Muggles: The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life” presents a different perspective to look at how you think of yourself online. danah boyd, a cyber-culture observer, believes that technology has become an ubiquitous part of our lives. The perspective in which you access how we use technology and what would we do without it reveals our dependency. Technology has impacted basically every facet of our lives including our personalities and self image. Through our various technology and social media network, we can portray the self image of our choosing without any immediate ramification. This multiple identity mentality has altered our view of true identity and authenticity.

Accurately presenting your identity in face to face interactions is based on many factors such as physical proximity, nonverbal cues, tone of voice, or current circumstances. Each of these examples present different factors that the your conversational partner using to create their image of you. This process is made more difficult if you do not have prior knowledge of who you are presenting yourself or if you have multiple people you must present yourself to at once. Having the ability to use the context clues of your situation makes this process, at times, effortless and normally unconsciously. But online, the context is not as clear. Presenting yourself online is much more difficult; the process of accuarately presenting yourself is as hard/equal to accuarately interpreting someone else’s presentation of themselves. danah boyd describes this overwhelming issue:

This is quite different from the society that you and i were used to growing up. We were used to having walls. We assumed that the norms were set by the environment and that you behaved differently in synagogue than in the pub and that was AOK. Context was key but context depends on there being walls. Online, there are no walls. The walls have come crumbling down. You can cross through spaces with the click of a few keystrokes and it’s impossible to know what speech will spread where. The moment a conversation spreads, it changes contexts. How do you train a generation to speak to all people across all space and all time? It wouldn’t be socially appropriate to get up on your conference chairs and start dancing (but i dare you to) but we act like the world can have continuous norms and rules online. There’s not one public – there are many publics.. and each comes with their norms. Yet, online, we don’t have that privilege.