I springboarded my “Explore” post by referencing Greg McVerry’s renouncement of his Digital Citizenship.
My initial thought (before being tainted by the rabbit trail I went down) of his renouncement tweet was:
“Then what are you still doing here?
Of course joking, but I realized that I really have been thinking of our digital world as a place you can arrive and depart at your own leisure, because it is. I realized I have been having fun thinking of myself, all of you, in this fun metaphorical space.
If one were to live in Alaska and proclaim he was renouncing his Alaskan citizenship, we’d expect to maybe not see him again except to visit, and that would mean giving up some perceived and official benefits (Alaska PFD fund dolla bills, ya’ll).
As Hailey Barger references in her “Explore” post, I have been thinking about how one can be just an inhabitant versus an involved, contributing citizen.
Maybe we were once just “daytrippers”, then “tourists”, then maybe we overstayed our welcome, learned the language, rented a run-down apartment that would take (cog) dogs and became citizens. Now we live here, and can attend the PTA meetings, put our kids in school and play in the park. Or maybe I can seclude myself in my cabin and hermit up for the winter just lurking–you see where I’m going with this.
Well, here is “what”: Now I have at least a basic awareness of my neighbors. I learn about their cultural norms and habits. I need to do research about the community to keep my kids safe here, to keep my neighbors’ kids safe. There are real criminals here–smart ones.
There are also amazing free markets and tons of (too much to choose from, really) entertainment, news, people, connections, facts, lies, beauty, sadness. So many new places for me to roam, dance, sing, make, laugh, cry. An infinite audience if I wanted to be heard or seen.
Am I being a cliche/faux-paus/buzzword over-user to be thinking this way? Am I buying in to the criticized false dichotomy between the analogue and the digital? Do I sound like a total newb to present it in this literal of a translation?
I don’t really care.
As a matter of fact, my conceptual design-thinking brain demands it, and most importantly, motivates me to want to be a better citizen. I want to find out what it means to others to be a citizen here, and how can I help teach others become more involved.