At a staff meeting, administration admonished us to make our online presence less searchable. "Use a pseudonym," I paraphrase, "because we've heard some terrible stories about things people have done to teachers online. It might not even be you; it might be something somebody else tags you in."
For a moment, I considered it. I thought, Yeah, my online presence isn't meaningful enough to me for me to care about. I could pseudonym.
Then I realized just how beyond help I am for that.
I don't want to be anonymous. I have no interest in being anonymous online. I may not go as far as @elibosnick does in using my real name, but the vast majority of my online names are "jeffnords" or a variant of it. I have many reasons for this.
Facebook is still a special case. If there was any place to use a pseudonym, it would be for my personal Facebook profile. Although I've eased up on my personal Facebook ban and I've started paying a little more attention to the Facebook community, clicking "likes" and making comments here and there, I haven't done a purge for a while and I might, one of these nights, delete my recent activity on the site again. Facebook still straddles the public and private spheres in ways I'm not comfortable with. It still creates circles of "friends" that don't seem to mean much in real life. And it seems to be, by the nature of its interactions, cause the most trouble for people. So I'll continue to treat it with the utmost caution.
Perhaps, if and when I apply to work in administration myself, I'll reconsider. Perhaps some of my vulnerable rants and posts will seem childish and unprofessional. Then I might change my tack.
But for now, Jeffrey Nordstrom is my online identity and that's fine. I've traded away my privacy (see below) and I'm banking that it will work out for me in the long run.
I've tried writing a few blog posts over the last few weeks, but my brain has not been able to create anything interesting and blogworthy. So here are a few recent posts to other places.
It's been hard to take photos over the last few months due to my continuing depression and lack of routine. I haven't gone anywhere new and I'm not really seeing those "special" things in the commonplace like I would if I felt better.
Nonetheless, here are a few photos I've posted to social media over the last couple months.
I also created a jeffnords profile for Playstation, signed up for DeviantArt and DailyMotion, and signed up for businessorpleasure.ca, hoping to make it the centre of a future project. I don't expect to use DailyMotion and DeviantArt often, if at all, but it's nice to have them on hand in case I ever need them.
An article over at CBC titled "Facebook says it will be 'all video' in 5 years as people abandon text" caught my attention recently. In it, Lauren O'Neil describes comments made by "Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa," who claimed that users of Facebook are moving away from text. Mendelsohn says,
"The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video," she continued. "It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information."
I get this. The ability to say so many words in 30 seconds is one of the factors that led to the gradual creation my "30 Second Twitter Rants," In 30 seconds I can create a long, clause-laden sentence and fill it with inflection and gusto.
Also, it's easier to upload video to the Internet than it is to upload basic audio. Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all support video, but not mere audio. Since it's easier to upload video to these social networking sites, it's no surprise that video is growing more dominant.
Not to mention how easy it is to make video content today. Anyone can do it. It's not even worth linking to video-makers as an example because this has become such an obvious fact.
But video has some severe limitations inherent in its format:
And for someone like myself who's barely on Facebook in the first place, I guess it doesn't matter what Zuck and co. do anyhow.
In order to maintain my monopoly over as many "jeffnords" as possible at major social networking sites, I've signed up for Flickr and Pinterest. I don't expect to use them very often, but they both allow embedding, so we'll see.
I've also highlighted in bold my primary social networking links (on the right-hand column) right now. Since my music has been on the backburner, I haven't been on Soundcloud or Bandcamp very often. But hopefully this coming summer will change some of that.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas