Lesley's E-learning and Digital Cultures Blog

December 13, 2009

End of LIfestream Summary

Filed under: Uncategorized — lesleyf @ 8:48 pm

So, lifestreaming…. Mmm – interesting, challenging, unnerving are just a few words that spring to mind. In the first few weeks of the course I just didn’t get it. In part due to trying to get to grips with the technology ie, setting up the feeds etc but also I because I felt really pressurized from the onset to contribute and add items and information even although I didn’t feel ready to do so.

Consequently, I felt insecure and even questioned my ability and wondered if I had chosen the right module. I found Twitter a mightmare. Why would I want to talk to myself? Who would be interested in whether I was tired and stressed or having a glass of wine?

coming across some really ‘random’ posts when browsing in those initial weeks only added to my insecurity. I thought I was missing something – perhaps there was a space in cyberworld I had not managed to find yet. a space where there were conversations going on about topics that might clarify the meaning of some of the tweets. I later realised – this was the nature of tweeting – often random and perhaps at times only coherent to the author!

I felt quite disillusioned and wondered what this lifestreaming thing was really about. The irony is I had been looking forward to this module because I felt it would help me in my work- bring all the disparate elements of my life and work together. But I felt even less in control of my environment and couldn’t explain why.

The issue of retrospective posting became important . I had an eye operation 8 weeks ago and developed some complications which had an impact on my ability to contribute consistently and regularly. So I found myself having to“ catch up”
Everyone seemed so organised and ‘current’ and I was having to jump back and forth. To be honest I would have worked in this fashion anyway but it became more of an issue because of the problems I was having with my eyes and that I couldn’t contribute in a timely manner. Everything I did was visible and could be ’seen.’ Did it matter? I don’t know, but it felt like it mattered.

So I felt this environment, because it recorded chronologically, was quite inflexible and restrictive and meant that i couldn’t pretend I had completed week 7 summary in week 7.
OK you could set up a blank post which would record date and time and return to this at a later date. however all dates would be recorded so this might defeat the purpose. The key question from this is, is this important and would I have been penalised for doing so?

What can I say about Twitter. I really struggled with the idea of talking to myself. Yeh, ok, I wasn’t really talking to myself but rather talking to my peers, my tutors, and, well, the world! But I was, talking to myself wasn’t I? I still can’t figure out what I was doing with twitter.

I had this overriding thought, who on earth would be interested in what I was doing. I also believe this kind of thinking is tied up with self esteem and would be an interesting theme to explore in the future.

I have to say whilst this is an end of course summary I really feel I am only just beginning my journey into the often surreal experiences that seemed to be such a core part of exploring the virtual world.

There are still so many topics to explore that a part of me just wants to continue but also there is the part of me that is saying thank god I’ve finished but above all “I have had to learn to engage so that I can engage to learn” (Ferguson, Lesley 2009) – couldn’t resist this one!

Note – Oh and I have found some links I forgot to add so am going to do it now


more retrospective posting….mmm

Filed under: Uncategorized — lesleyf @ 5:03 pm

Have decided to use this weeks summary slot as an opportunity to discuss things, concepts and issues I never quite managed to explore.

Reflecting on all previous lifestream entires I have realised just how far I have come, I feel quite excited about this because in the beginning I could not get my head around lifestreaming.
The volume, diversity and quality of my entries has over time, very much improved. Can I even go as far as to say I feel quite excited at how coherent and interesting the content looks and perhaps more importantly how it tracks my progress. Or perhaps I am experiencing an hallucination or even an illusion of visuality.

Naturally I could have done better as is always the case but feel I have achieved such a lot but also missed opportunities to explore topics which emerged as of interest such as the effect that using sound can have when conveying meaning using images alone.

The connection between cyberspace and religion – which I hope to explore and investigate for my assignment. so won’t say too much about this one.

The public-nes of the environment we worked in was both beneficial and intimidating . I often peeked for ideas, comfort and reassurance and found all of this but also realised there were always going to be people who just had it completely sussed – I could not compete, so learned to do my own thing and ask for help when needed. perfect it is not but I firmly believe it has documented and illustrates my progress and also highlights themes I would still like to explore.

December 12, 2009

Utopia, Dystopia, Cyberspace?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — lesleyf @ 2:49 pm

Cyberspace – a real space? can it be a utopian one? or even represent dystopia?

Exploring some literature other than prescribed I found similar views, why? Why does it have to be categoriesed in this way? Is it becuase writers and academics want us to consider the possibility that a cyberworld does actually exist? what does it mean to exist anyway?  why can it not be described in a way that explains its origins which are to me not magical and do not evoke any sense of mystery.

Interestingly William Gibson cited by Kevin Robbins(1) describes cyberspace as a ‘ consequential hallucination. ‘  Moreovever according to Kevin Robbins(1), the debate surrounding virtual reality is also a consequential hallucination and comes form the notion that a vision of  the future which might be more desirable is always better. I suppose something to look forward to. Disalusioned by life are we as a society clinging on to what we might perceive as being a panacea? Can it ever be proved though?

I suppose this might explain the popularity of second life?  Are we as a society then just looking for a utopia, any kind of utopia and  are being guided toward the the possibility that cyberspace may offer us a kind of better life depending on your view that is, you might want to believe the opposite but crucially whichever stance you take you are considering wither a possibility and this is significant.


1. Cyberspace and the World We Live in
ROBINS Body Society.1995; 1: 135-155


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