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Hubris and Humility in the Digital World: What is my Role?

The power of their ideas: Lessons for America from a small school in Harlem, (Meier, 2002) provides a paradoxical, yet relevant joining of words – hubris and humility. I reflected about the unusual combining of these words as I prepared for my next entry. It is appropriate to what I am saying about blogging.

The paradox of those two words reminded of the following: “The expansion of social media means that the only working system is to publish then filter” (Shirky, 2008, p. 98). To be engaged in the use of social media means turning a traditional publishing paradigm on its head. I can publish and, then, filter my work. “In the weblog world there are no authorities, only masses” (p. 94). I can join the global square in its discourse if I choose. What is my responsibility? Who will read my message? How will they not just interpret the message, but understand the person publishing it? These are fundamental questions.

There is hubris here. Publishing is no longer an elite activity or one of vanity that I can afford to indulge. If I believe I have something important to share and am passionate enough about it, I can publish within reason and with limited restrictions. This is not an undesirable arrogance, as it is tempered with humility. When I read my most recent post, I was humbled by the lack of literacy in places. I wrote, “This sacred space also serves a space we can to be in relation with our self.” I left “as” out.

To blog I need self-confidence and efficacy. Conversely, I will err. Confidence is the ability to acknowledge a mistake where possible. I chose to publish and it is in this action the hubris is not supercilious. I am on a digital stage where I am the authority when it comes to publishing and filtering. The Shakespearian quote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances” takes on new meaning. I doubt the bard considered digital roles played out for the entire world. My hubris and humility requires mindfulness urging me to be present, as best as I can, with my audience and strive to be a positive role model in the digital global public square. In twenty years, my position may be antiquated and quaint, but today it is worthy of being published and entered into the public view for discourse.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Paradox of Community « Teacher as Transformer

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