This week’s main topic struck home to my digital experience. Asked if I had, a feeling of control in the networked narrative experience – whether I felt lost in the chaos ( ha! ) or maybe, even a combination of both – I was eager to work thru a response.
To answer this, in our Digital Storytelling class ( taught by two professors, Dr. Mia Zamora & Professor Alan Levine ) we made a live Human Spectrum! We gathered around in front of the class, and while facing Professor Levine ( while in Arizona! ) via laptop screen dimensions – we navigated into rows and columns, in order of height and personal measurement, of where we each felt on a scale of – being ‘ in control ‘ vs. being ‘ utter chaos ‘ – all in effort to conclude our present comfort levels of engaging in the digital alchemic practice that is #netnarr.
One student holds a fitting ‘ In Control ‘ sign, another an ‘ Utter Chaos ‘ sign. I stood right next to this one. Other than my Twitter engagements ( which is very much an achievement to my lo-fi demise ) and my Tumblr feed, comfortably rolling out and about with image content — I did not, in fact, feel, like I was in control of my digital quest. I didn’t feel like I was navigating the assignment schedules, the daily creative calls and the weekly studio visits with clarity. Not to mention, a not-much expressed yet very key factor of operating with limited Internet access .
After expressing concern, Dr. Mia Zamora met with me after class. Having been preparing research for a Communication Class’ Group SPEECH project; titled [Negative Effects of Social Media on College Students] – it was serendipitous to experience the positive effect of face-to-face contact and the richer solution this method of interaction provides. FOR THE RECORD: Dr. Mia Zamora is amazing, from Day One I was in awe of her dictation of words – absolutely, spell-binding. I guess that’s why they call it spell-ing. She patiently showed me where the links to studio visits and weekly recaps – where they can easily be prompted from the Network Narrative website.
This demonstration was key. Immediately I FELT more calm from my digital anxiety. It’s great to experience the effect of good interface design – which is a central part to the navigating ease of the Internet user. I just needed a bit of personal direction to the right place and voila; back in business – or at least I know how to. I should also mention my lo-fi operating tools. I use 2 outdated PC laptops and between these two, I was getting 2x as frustrated. Pragmatically, I’ve learned to keep an optimistic attitude nonetheless. I thought I could compensate with dependance on my android smartphone; to utilize my Twitter account as a way to stay in-the-know of the #netnarr stream. Ironically, this method just agitated my Fomo. Fear-of-missing-out led me to passively rely on the content that was shared by others, although great responses and writing prose skills well exercised – I was not really taking control of my voice and contributing to a personal narrative longer than 140 characters. Here now, a lovely alchemic challenge awaits me – to increase participation in the Networked Narratives ( #NetNarr ) activities; to also evaluate my experience thru thoughtful reflection.
I was advised to start a WordPress blog once again but have long avoided WordPress because I found the interface ( for customization ) pretty difficult or rather, pretty yet difficult. Well, in light of encouragement from communal sanctions expressed by classmates of feelings of chaos in their digital alchemic venture, I decided to persevere on in what I thought was a struggle of my own. What a great big touchbase by great Professors who care. Initially, Professor Alan Levine checked in with me, offering tools for aid. Greatly appreciated as I will need to schedule a video appointment.
So, now, here we are, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon – writing this reflection and as of last night, le-petitjo.com was born. With WordPress as Father, #NetNarr as Mother – WordPress will be hosting weekly reflections and digital creations; as well documentation of challenges in my creative & academic space. To my #netnarr and internet community, feel free to share any tips and suggestions you may have in successfully riding this WordPress train – even if just to say hello 🙂