When I reflect on my behavior on the web I think I’m mainly a visitor (using Dave’s definition) and I don’t leave many social marks behind. I am very comfortable with many tools, so the technical side is rarely a problem to me.
As a person, I’m clearly an introvert and I have a reflective mind, but I don’t have to share my thoughts all the time, as I notice some people do. This also permeate my behavior online. I read a lot from different internet sources but I rarely contribute to online discussions. Not that I’m shy or uncertain of my opinion, but that’s just who I am. If the topic is interesting enough I might contribute, but that happens rarely.
However, the wind of change might be blowing! During these first weeks of the ONL course, I have noticed a slight change in my behavior. Not that I have made comments extensively, but more than usual. Who knows, in December I might be a real contributor to online discussions in both the ONL community and society overall.
I guess we are sometimes our own worst enemy. Our fears prevent us from developing and we tend to stay in our comfort zone. We expose ourselves all the time in physical meetings, why is there a difference online? Well the exposure is probably bigger online and that might be scary. There is also the archiving effect. Most often, there’s no visible trace of your input after a physical meeting, except in other people’s minds, but that usually diminishes over time. Online on the other hand, your input can be stored and exposed forever. That is scary! Who knows what I will think of my own opinions in the future.