I want my cyborg life


danah boyd’s work is truly inspirational and is hugely influential in my own research.

Earlier today she blogged I want my cyborg life. Read it. Please.

There’s no doubt that I barely understood what the speaker was talking about. But during the talk, I had looked up six different concepts he had introduced (thank you Wikipedia), scanned two of the speakers’ papers to try to grok what on earth he was talking about, and used Babelfish to translate the Italian conversations taking place on Twitter and FriendFeed in attempt to understand what was being said. Of course, I had also looked up half the people in the room (including the condescending man next to me) and posted a tweet of my own.

I couldn’t help but think about the ongoing debate about whether or not twitter is acceptable in church, I am also struck by how relevant this is in my NHS role as well as my academic one.

What will it take for us to see technology as a tool for information enhancement? At the very least, how can we embrace those who learn best when they have an outlet for their questions and thoughts? How I long for being connected to be an acceptable part of engagement.

So thanks to danah for such a great, though-provoking post and, if I get some spare time I hope to look at this in relation to the stuff Shane Hipps writes about, in particular the + charts he has in his first book that I can’t remember the detail of right now!


8 Responses to “I want my cyborg life”

  1. 1 SB

    You asked: “whether or not twitter is acceptable in church”, as with many things I would say it all depends.

    What is the benefit? To share a beneficial thought, to express an uplifting experience, or to snigger, to belittle someone’s effort?

    Does it take your mind out of the flow to tweet? does it distract someone who reads your tweet and is in the same room, listening, focussing on the same thoughts.

    Or is it to “silently” voice your “disapproval” of what is happening, knowing that some of those who are sharing the same service, but perhaps with a different outcome, will see you thoughts – will they be uplifted or upset by your comments?

    1 Cor 6:12 (The Message): Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate.

    “Just because you can, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should…” (SB)

  2. 2 tobit

    hi SB
    thanks for taking the time to comment, I am not sure I asked the question about tweeting in church, but it is one I am interested in.

    In my academic life, e.g. conference going, much like danah, I have communication back-channels running such as a twitter search with the relevant hash tag – this gives me an opportunity to see in real time someone else’s perspective on what the speaker said, or to gain different insights into what is being presented. Personally I would do my best to never use it to belittle or snigger or to silently disapprove. *goes off to check my twitter feed*

    ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ I agree with this, which is why I don’t tweet much when I am in a service – if I am out back, then I might, as being out back can be isolating, and twitter is a tool I find that helps with feeling less isolated.

    If someone at church is checking out my twitter feed to see what I say (the inane nonsense that it mostly is) I reckon they are probably already pretty distracted

  3. 3 A

    There’s a good post here about tweeting in church!

    It resonates with me.

    btw, I love my little monster pic, really reflects my personality don’t you think!! ;)

  4. 4 tobit

    good point mr A (both about your monster and tweeting)
    http://www.joshharris.com/2009/05/should_we_use_twitter_during_c.php is the article it draws on, but while both articles start out by talking about tweeting during worship, they then both go on to talk, almost exclusively, about tweeting during sermons. Now, I know some sermons are good, but even still, the speeches/preaches are not a corporate act, they are one person talking and everyone else listening, reflecting, taking notes, thinking about dinner, the screaming baby out the back, etc.. How is tweeting any different to writing notes in terms of being distracted from what is being said?

    Also, it is occurring to me that maybe tweeting is wrong in the typical structured format of church, but where church is (more) participatory, fluid, organic and responsive to the context of the event/each service, it might have a place.

    So sure, tweeting during singing and praying probably isn’t the right thing to be doing, but through other parts of the service, well, maybe it is OK. (Obviously depending on the content of the tweet!)

  5. 5 L

    I think generally that we shouldn’t tweet during sermons / worship and probably not during any church service we are participating in. I use participation in its widest sense. It seems to me that our time in a church service should be a time of reflection on what God does for us, and if we are bored with the speaker, it still gives us opportunity to focus on God. I think we should be able to manage 2 hours without tweeting our thoughts.
    I also think to compare note taking with tweeting is not really fair, a practised note taker will write what the ear hears and records it for later meditation.

  6. 7 L

    btw. I think my monster is rather endearing :)

  7. 8 tobit

    http://mseyfang.edublogs.org/2009/07/17/is-twittering-at-conferencesevents-a-good-thing/ is a great post to read in respect of this conversation (HT Ben)

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