Overall, this book gave me a lot to think about in regards to digital self representation. I found that not only was I reflecting on society and our use of social media, but I was doing a great deal of introspective reflection as well.
As a twenty-something millennial, it was strange to read about my own generation from the lens of someone outside of the generation. Though the book did include a good amount of historical context, much of it was focused on how the digital world is affecting our representations of self today. I found myself guilty of many of the behaviors that Jill Walker Rettberg was talking about.
It seemed that every time she mentioned a tracking app or a digital filter, I had already used it before to represent myself. This allowed me to reflect on my social media use in a way that was personal yet also societal (if that makes any sense to do together). I am fully aware that I am a professional and an educator at the beginning of my career. However, I am also a twenty-something with an entirely different set of societal expectations. I tend to balance my self-representation between educator and millennial female. My social media consists of a strange mixture of educational commentary and selfies. Looking through my social media shows a fairly accurate representation of both sides of my life, with some sites showing different aspects of myself than others. In this way, I filter my representation based on forum and audience. As a young teacher of eleven year old students I’ve worked hard to figure out how I can still be a young adult with a social life while representing myself professionally. Those are the filters that guide my self representation.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and working with my group to reflect on it and think about it more deeply. Our presentation focuses on the overarching themes within the book and how they relate to society today.
Turns out that embedding a Prezi into WordPress is becoming much harder than it should be! For now, here’s the link. I’ll keep working on it though.