Years ago, the wise and reflective Larry Johnson said “you are your avatar” in connection with hasty generalisations around people using Second Life having no first life (whatever that might be). This is not to be confused with this Larry Johnson – once again proving what Google thinks is important.
In the following years the domestication of technology and penetration of these new media layers into some of our lives has been staggering. Not all people, I am really talking about those for whom life is a puzzle, something to be discovered and enjoyed – people who want meaningful work, not just work. Some people are lucky and get it, and right now, if you’re in education or media — you are your avatar. I suggest reading Larry’s PDF on this here.
There are basically three types of professional media users in fields I work in these days. Those for whom the future is bright, complicated and something to engage with – and those who fear the future will expose just how little they know and how self-entitled are. There is a third (the null user).
I’m clearly the first which brings a whole range of problems (ask me). It’s the second type that act as a new glass-ceiling. Without being ‘null’ users, their opinions about how/why others is quick to appeal to spite and fail any burden of proof in their own correctness. And yet, these people dare to join social-media sites such as Linked In and post information or join Twitter to promote some event. I see you, my avatar sees you and so does the Internet – and like you, we judge.
Online life is not conducted at the expense of “real life” as Larry explained. There are no short cuts to building positive, persistent reputation, or simply to learn to survive online to a point where you don’t fear a Googled past anymore than the future — which will be more intrusive, more complicated and more more more.
Here’s a free clue: As each day – Ask of someone who you’ll likely never meet (nor make money, political or social capital from) — “What can I do to help?”.
If this seems to hard, weird or just stupid – then why the hell did you join Linked In? – You are your avatar – and if you’re avatar is a grey-dormant, self-interested, over-inflated version of the ‘real world you’ — why bother entering realms where Dragons be?
one never lets go of the essential reality that you are not together
I absolutely guarantee you only see a shadow of myself, unless I allow it. An avatar has one important pervasive skill – it can bring ‘us’ together despite the efforts of the nullists and gaslighters adults of once had to endure in a time now consigned to history.
You are your avatar and you get to reboot your series whenever you like. That’s how cyberpunk worked out. It takes effort and carries risk, but hey … what doesn’t right?