[Air-l] MySpace and other public writing spaces

Dr. T. Michael Roberts dr_haqiqah at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 5 12:29:41 PST 2007

I teach English and Psychology on line. One of the
reasons I prefer to teach online is that I am
basically a writing teacher and an art therapist whose
primary arts are reading and writing. Students are
much more self-disclosing in online forums that they
are in a live class. 

I am fascinated by the possibilities of Second Life
because I see the avatars as a move toward embodiment
which allows the Virtual Learning Environment to model
RL interactions closely enough to allow for an easy
transfer of skills from the VLE to RL. The VLE becomes
a rehearsal space where the learner can safely
experiment with new voices, new personas and new ways
of being in a world with others that can migrate to RL
if they prove satisfying. 

The possibilities for a class in journal writing for
personal growth are vast. What you are pointing out, I
think, is that people spontaneously use virtual social
spaces to express aspects of self that would not be
readily disclosed in RL. The result can be significant
personal growth if the learner finds a space where
these self-disclosures are validated by a larger

I think this is even truer in a VLE that is
specifically designed to encourage self-disclosure and
a witnessing of this sharing by others which validates
the learner who has chosen to share. Please pass along
anything you find on this subject.
T. Michael

--- Elena Adkins <elena.adkins at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> I am working on a research project with a focus on
> how people use MySpace (or other similar sites) for
> personal "diary"-type writing.  I am wondering why
> individuals feel compelled to post very personal
> details about their lives, the purpose it serves for
> them, and the importance of the interactive nature
> of these sites.  I want to know what it is about
> these sites that make it seemingly easier to share
> personal information, both on the site and in
> general.  If anyone knows of any texts that could
> help me out with my research, I would greatly
> appreciate it. --Elena Adkins
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