#Change11 Getting to know you – your identity

Do I know you?  And do you know me?

I read this interesting post from Connecting the Dots that also relates to AK’s post on Do we need to know one another when sharing and Jaap’s post.

The author in the Connecting the Dots says:

“As I noted in my comment on Tools for Collective Learning last week, I think there is a fifth ‘c’ here that involves commitment.”

“I don’t seem to need to ‘know’ someone in order to share online.  Recognizing an online identity may help but it’s neither the only deciding factor nor the most important for me anymore.”

How is commitment decided by you?  I do commit in sharing based on efforts and time, but also the trust I have on the other persons, in terms of their authenticity in identity, the intention and content quality of their sharing of ideas or information.

I posted on the FB: Do you think you really know who one is when connection is behind a digital identity? Would that account for the trust level we associate with networking?

Jaap’s response: People do not care, they do not know. Businesses use digital fake identities to foster sales, and nobody wants to know. There is a lot of trust.

My response: If people do not care, and do not know, how would relationship be built? Relationship without caring may impact on learning, as the interaction becomes superficial. Imagine the feelings of making a phone call to a service company, where one is directed just by a virtual voice, press one, two, and then followed by a recording telling us what to do… What would be our impression on the business? You are right in that businesses use digital fake identities to foster sales, or even boost up the market share with advertising tactics (keep pressing the likes, or positive voting on the sites). My question is: what ethical issues and distrust would emerge with these practices. I don’t know if I would really trust these e-businesses, in the long run. With the same token, if this happens in networking, where people hid themselves with fake digital identities and practise with unethical camouflage, then this would impact on the trust level among networkers. Who would like to network with a troll who pretends to be an evangelist? I think this is becoming an issue, especially when networking online without an understanding of “each others” in the networks. That also explains why I am trying to learn a bit more about others before I would embark on an e-journey of networking in new networks. Would like to learn about your views on “a lot of trust”. Would disclosure of some of the others’ background be a consideration of trust?

So, for me, I could share without knowing much about the other person initially in virtual or online networks. However, for such connection to be sustainable, I reckon I would like to find out more about the person behind the ideas, or blogs, or postings, through further inquiry, or a dialogue with comments, and not just consuming the ideas of the blog post, or creating a blog post in response.  There is a deeper level of understanding required on the other person before I could fully engage into the learning conversation.  That’s my experience throughout the MOOCs and networked learning.

Do you really know who you are connected to? Is connection to ideas more important to persons?  May be when I am just trying to learn about ideas, and not looking for further conversation or exchange of ideas, then I don’t need to know about the identity of others.

That is also the challenge on openness and identity that I shared in my previous post:

It is a personal choice, and although I am in favor of openness, I could understand that openness is not viewed as a nominal practice for many professions. This is especially so, for certain professions like medical profession, where duty of care, professional accountability and responsibility comes before any disclosure of incidents or experience that relate to patients or medical care.  Exposure of one’s true identity (both as a professional, an educator or student) might have an impact on one’s professional identity, personal security and privacy – like those working in sensitive professions – in defence or police operations.  I also think there are significant issues not addressed when debating about political or social aspects in public which may relate to individual organisations, especially when such debates/discourse could be viewed and judged by the public, present or potential employers.

Photo credit: Flickr on girl in meditation

6 thoughts on “#Change11 Getting to know you – your identity

  1. Pingback: #Change11 Getting to know you – your identity | Digital Delights | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: #Change11 Getting to know you – your identity | Teaching in the XXI century | Scoop.it

  3. Pingback: Week 4 Mooc: more reflection and synthesis #change11 « Learning in the workplace

  4. Thanks for this analysis, which helped me to reflect further. This point held the most resonance for me “May be when I am just trying to learn about ideas, and not looking for further conversation or exchange of ideas, then I don’t need to know about the identity of others.”

    I seem to connect more with the content of an idea and how it is expressed rather than the identity of the person who authored it, at least initially. Whether the contributor shares a volume of personal details with me or has a digital identity separate from his/her personal identity, I’m fine with it. And perhaps I am biased in that regard given that I share very few personal or professional details in a public forum.

    Maybe there is a first layer of ‘knowing’ that will result in at least one exchange of contributions. I know you have a good idea (or a bad one) and I am triggered to share back.

    Then I suppose there is a second, deeper layer to the connection in which I might exchange more frequently or intensively with someone I meet online. Getting to know the person better seems to be a by-product of the exchange. In other words, I’m here to share ideas first, not necessarily to make friends…? Will have to give this more reflection.

  5. Thanks for your visit and comments. “I’m here to share ideas first, not necessarily to make friends…?” I fully agreed. Sharing ideas could always be a good starting point in “knowing more about others”. Is making friends online necessary? That depends on the intention of the “sharer”. As shared, once I have developed a network with some understanding of the people around (with known identity), I would be able to develop a deeper layer of connection, which may go beyond the open sharing. This may involve more private sharing, and “closed conversation” and collaboration. This is also where friendship at a professional level could be established online, with only digital identity. If I were to reflect on those whom I would most interact with, I reckon I still prefer those with a known digital identity over those unknown ones, though even then, someone could fake it. I have got a comment from someone saying that it is acceptable to tell lies in the internet, and so the identity could be totally “fake”. From an educational point of view, I wouldn’t agree with that mindset, as that would set up a “wrong” model for others (peers and learners) to follow suit. This is also an ethical issue that challenges us to reflect on what it means to share with fake identity. There are of course many others who would like to share with “fake” identity, as they wish to comment on social and political affairs, and not wanting to be identified as that would be too risky. So, what does it leave us with? Who knows if someone is really a kid, who could pretend to be an adult of 40 years old? May be there are merits and demerits in sharing the identity openly in virtual and digital spaces.

  6. Pingback: #Change11 #CCK12 Online Learning and Digital Citizenship | Learner Weblog

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