GoogleTranslate Service

Digital Identities and Social Relations

October 12th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Just spent half an hour checking around blogs and twitter to see what is new on a Monday morning. And I was interested to see the latest survey from Pew Internet (just an aside – why cannot we organise as thorough a survey in Europe as Pew does for the US?).

The latest Pew Internet & American Life Project survey asked respondents to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020 and they provide the following summary of the (very substantial) report:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing arms race, with the crackers who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
  • Next-generation engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.”

I will be coming back to many of these issues in the next few posts. But I am particularly interested in the issue of the division between personal and work time and between physical and virtual reality – although I am not sure about some of the terminology. two weeks ago we ran a workshop on Digital identities at the European Conference on Educational Research in Vienna as part of the Eduserve Rhizome project on Digital Identities. We are working on a short video on the workshop which should come out later this week. Most of the issues arising from the workshop were as we would have expected and in line with similar workshops we have organised in the UK. But what was surprising were some of the discussions in the workshop especially around the issues of privacy, personal spaces and work . personal life issues. Why surprising? Mainly because there was such a divergence of feelings around these issues. there were some 18 participants in the workshop from 15 different countries. And it appears that attitudes towards privacy and work / personal life divisions are heavily influenced by culture. This finding requires far more investigation than we were able to undertake in a short workshop. But it does appear that in different countries there are very different attitudes towards for instance what data should be private and the degree ot which entries on a social networking sites should be viewed as part of professional activities.

One participant provided an example of where a teacher had expressed personal opinions on a social networking site which were seen as racist by parents of some of the students and resulted – if my memory is right – in them being dismissed. Some felt this was reasonable, given that such an opinions would effect their ability as a teacher. Others felt that however objectionable such opinions this infringed on rights of personal free speech in a non work related forum.

Steven Warburton summaries the dissussion on the Rhizome project blog:

The “richness in nationalities immediately foregrounded what is an often overlooked dimension in discussions around digital identity – namely the impact of cultural difference. Different cultures both create and consume their [digital] identities in different ways. This was most keenly reflected in the shared conversations around where we perceive the boundary between our public and private lives. The mass use of social services such as Facebook can appear to have a homogenising effect, erasing cultural distinctions through normalised ’social-networking’ practices.”

I have not read the full Pew report. But issues like this will not go away and I am intrigued to find out in which ways the experts Pew interviewed see the mixed impact on basic social relations


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steven Warburton and Irmeli Aro. Irmeli Aro said: RT @GrahamAttwell Different cultures both create and consume their [digital] identities in different ways. New blog post: […]

  • Search

    Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from the OEB 2015

    We will broadcast from Berlin on the 3rd and the 4th of December. Both times it will start at 11.00 CET and will go on for about 45 minutes.

    Go here to listen to the radio stream: SoB Online EDUCA 2015 LIVE Radio.

    Or go to our new stream webpage: Sounds of the Bazaar Radio Stream Page

    News Bites

    Skills in Europe

    Cedefop is launching a new SKILLS PANORAMA website, online on 1 December at 11.00 (CET).

    Skills Panorama, they say,  turns labour market data and information into useful, accurate and timely intelligence that helps policy-makers decide on skills and jobs in Europe.

    The new website will provide with a more comprehensive and user-friendly central access point for information and intelligence on skill needs in occupations and sectors across Europe. You can register for the launch at Register now at

    Talking about ‘European’ MOOCs

    The European EMMA project is launching a  webinar series. The first is on Tuesday 17 November 2015 from 14:00 – 15:00 CET.

    They say: “In this first webinar we will explore new trends in European MOOCs. Rosanna de Rosa, from UNINA, will present the philosophy and challenges behind the EMMA EU project and MOOC platform developed with the idea of accommodating diversity through multilingualism. Darco Jansen, from EADTU (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities), will talk about Europe’s response to MOOC opportunities. His presentation will highlight the main difference with the U.S. and discuss the consequences for didactical and pedagogical approaches regarding the different contexts.

    OER – update 2

    Open Education Europa has compiled and is releasing today as open data the analytical list of European Repositories of Open Educational Resources (OER).

    It includes:

    • European OER Portals and Repositories
    • Educational material repositories/directories
    • Larger Repositories rather than very specific ones
    • Focus on those who include Creative Commons license and on National/public OER repositories
    • Focus on material for teachers  (for the classroom/schools) rather than on higher education
    • Collaborative OER production initiatives (LeMill, RVP.CZ Portal,, KlasCement”)

    OER – update 1

    From the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA) – Madrid Open University – we are pleased to present the European Research Network of Open Educational Resources (ERNOER), a collaborative space in which more than fifty internationally educational institutions and prestigious universities are involved which can be accessed through the following link:

    The entire educational community can benefit in this web repository of more than three hundred image banks, two hundred fifty audio file repositories, two hundred and fifty video resources and more than three hundred programs and applications that can be used in education.

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

    It seems the #LearningLayers project consortium has been commended for high quality of scientific work. Woo!!

    About 2 hours ago from Graham Attwell's Twitter via Twitter for Mac

  • @Fraser_96 me too but the class was scheduled f2f and don't seem to have gathered any Twitter interest to change it to online so far :-)

    About 5 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter for iPhone

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events

      There are no events.
  • Categories