I’ve had so much fun over the last 18 or so months. Ever since I happened upon rhizo14 and then discovered other such events I have been making the most wonderful friends. I’m not going to list you all – there are too many of you for that – but I hope you know that I mean you – that’s right – you. It’s been glorious – I’ve laughed so much, and learnt so much, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it (whatever “it” is).
Then something happened a couple of weeks ago that hurt me – a lot. It still hurts. And Helen wrote this blog post asking how we share our human side online. And it made me cry, because I saw that she understood.
I knew about trolls, and how they could hurt – I’ve been hanging about in left-wing, feminist spaces online for long enough now that I am mainly immune to them – but I didn’t expect to be hurt by somebody I counted as a friend.
So – my questions are – if we reveal our human sides in digital spaces, and in so doing we make ourselves vulnerable, then how do we prepare ourselves for the possibility that others, also being human, might do things that hurt us? And how do we attempt, being human ourselves, to model our behaviour so as not to inadvertently hurt others?
And how would we go about helping students work through these questions?
Picture of vulnerable black-handed spider monkey: flickr photo by goingslo http://flickr.com/photos/goingslo/18425537072 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license