The Digital Immigrant | Beth's Blog

The Digital Immigrant

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Guest post by Mary Manuel

“Social networks are not about technology, they are enabled by technology”.  I’m sitting with this thought as I write and publish my first ever blog.  As a digital immigrant, my goal for this conference is to practice learning the language of my new country at the GEO Networks conference over the next two days.

As I become absorbed in frenetic tweeting of my “aha” moments and pay half attention to the speakers, I become afraid that I will lose the culture and identity of my home country of technophobia.  Right now I’m hiding out in a hallway typing this post, when every instinct would have me chatting with a colleague or taking a walk around the block to enjoy the sunshine during our short break.

Does citizenship in this digital land come at a price?  Will I be “wired” like too much coffee with tweeting and blogging and texting, oh my! Or will I walk away feeling more energized and connected with my colleagues here and around the country?  The jury is still out.  But, just like exercising a new muscle that is atrophied, I’m hoping with a  little practice, I will be able to apply for citizenship in no time.  I’ll check back in tomorrow to let you know how it’s going.
Mary Manuel






Mary Manuel is the Managing Director of the McKay Foundation, which funds progressive civic engagement infrastructure nationally and in the western states.

One Response

  1. Nancy White says:

    Mary, great post. In fact, you have not only described what it means to straddle across divides of tech/non tech, but the experience we have every time we step out of our comfort zones and enter a new way of being. I had this happen for me with technology, with the use of visuals and graphic facilitation at gatherings, with music, with culture. That place in between is both unsettling and magical because something new is being learned.


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