A friend of mine (Rachelskirts) blogged about her the coincidences of her life and the lives of some of her blogging role models. While coincidences are always fun, the thing that really grabbed my attention was this idea of having role models in the digital world.
I guess, given my research of the video game and learning and other forms of digital literacy, I shouldn't be surprised by this trend. I have made connections, deep emotional connections, with people online whom I have never met, but I have never considered looking toward these people as models for my life.
As we enter the next generation of the digital age, Web 2.0 it's been called, I think we will see an increase in this sort of thing. As people become more and more integrated with the internet, as more people continue to blog, spilling their hearts, minds, and tears on to the digital pages, there are certainly going to be a number of teenagers and children who will find someone with whom they connect and emulate that person here in the digital world, much like teenagers and children already do in the "real" world.
"Real." As I typed along, real is the word I chose to delineate between the Internet and the physical. With the increasingly personal nature of the (ironically) impersonal Internet, has the line between the traditional concept of “real” and “virtual” become blurred? The Internet is quickly becoming an online agora. Facebook, Craigslist, Ebay, MySpace, Second Life, and many others are the market and meeting places many are using, and many more are using every day. Why shouldn’t children, teenagers, and young adults find their role models and mentors in these digital forums? It’s an interesting idea, and it’s one into which I plan on looking.
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