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The end of my resistance… ? February 4, 2010

Posted by fafeeley in Uncategorized.
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Less than a year ago I was still a “resistor. ” I embraced certain types of technology but not some of the popular options. I have used what used to be known as “personal computers” since my freshman year of college in the fall of 1986. I jumped on the e-mail bandwagon and rode it hard fairly early at the dawn of the 90’s. I was late to acquire a cell phone. I did so in the winter of 2002 after other people’s cell phones averted disaster several times during a vacation. Since then I have held my cell phone close and only gone without it for a day or two during our annual camping trip.

But I drew my line in the sand at options including texting, social networking, blogging, and second life. I thought to myself, “I have enough difficulty managing my real life. Who has time for all this virtual experience?”

The end of my resistance came in three steps. First I accepted an invitation to join Facebook. Within a few months I had “friended” a few hundred of my “closest.” To this day I envision Facebook as a huge and powerful creature that bores down and identifies groupings and associations from every period of my life – bringing to the surface people and experiences which had not so much as entered my consciousness for years or even decades. I have been reunited with babysitters, people for whom I was the babysitter, school principals, fellow chorus members and cast members, first communion partners, college classmates, locker partners, colleagues from every job I have ever held, etc. These reunions often render long-forgotten experiences suddenly and powerfully present. I have often thought during this last year that these reunions and these powerful recollections would not have been possible even a few years ago. My human brain struggles to keep up with it all! Perhaps never before in human history have we had the tools to be present to so many individuals, experiences, and aspects of our lives simultaneously.

Step two was texting. I had turned off the text option of my phone many years ago. During a weekend ski trip last winter I felt that I needed a self-improvement project. So I called my phone service provider to have the text option switched back on and asked my hosts to teach me to text. We texted a lot that weekend, but it was mostly very short-distance texting – from one side of the sofa to the other! I began to actually use the text option but only in a limited way because my last cell phone had a number key pad but no true keyboard.

Which soon lead to step three – the iPhone. I had always saved and organized digital documents (including music, e-mails, photos, etc.) and maintained my Outlook contacts meticulously. Less than an hour after purchasing that phone I had all of these vastly different communication tools integrated in the palm of my hand: phone, text, all my different e-mail accounts, thousands of songs, photos, the Internet, contacts, Facebook. It was mind blowing. Easier? Yes! But all of a sudden I realized that I had arrived at a point with so many options that I would often have to think, “Who contacted me and through which mechanism?” Did that person text me or send me that info on Facebook? Or was it on Flickr? Did I hear about that on her blog? Is it in in voicemail? In my e-mail? Which e-mail? I have completely forgotten how to operate the voice machine on my landline!!

So here I am – embarking on the Technology ELITE journey. I was pleased to see that ELITE is an acronym and not just a declaration of our tech ambition and skill! During the course of the first meeting the instructor referred to a blog with the title, “Tame the Web.” Among my many expectations for this experience is to enrich my use, embrace, and understanding of the vast communication tools available to us; use my new skills to enrich the educational experiences of my students (of course!); and to achieve some sense of control in this ever changing digital landscape.

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1. Second Life: Meet Paco Asadar! « Fran Feeley's Blog - March 17, 2010

[…] have made it clear in the past that I have resisted many available communication tools (See The End of My Resistance? …) . Of all the online environments that seemed the most dubious in value, Second Life was at the top […]


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