Avatars and Aborigines

Recently, I read the book, Mutant Message Down Under: Message From Forever by Marlo Morgan (Cliff Street Books 1998). which was the story of a woman who walked with the aboriginals in Australia and learned the wisdom of the tribes. Beatrice learns about names from her aborigninal friend.

“You can be called by any name you want. Your name is how you want the world to address you. It reminds you of any specific issue you are giving attention to on this portion of your spiritual path. My name, for instance, Benalal, meaning brown duck, was chosen because I have been too serious most of my life. There must be a balance between lessons and play. I admire the duck’s ability just to float for the fun of it…”

It reminds me of when teens have avatars. Whether it’s through Habbo Hotel, Whyville, or SecondLife, rather than facing a crisis of who their ‘real’ vs. ‘not real’ self is, I think they are creating a self based on their developmental stage. It’s a self that is about a specific issue they are giving attention to. When I read articles about teens who have avatars and that they must be identifying with something more fake then real, it makes me ask the question, what is real? who is defining what is real? Creating an avatar is a safe way to explore what issue teens are giving attention to at this moment.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Celebrating Safer Internet Day Across the World

“Almost 40 countries will participate in the fourth edition of Safer Internet Day (SID) which this year takes place on 6 February. The highlight of the day will once again be a worldwide blogathon, which will reach Australia on 6th February and progress westward through the day to finish up in the USA and Canada. Following the huge success encountered in 2006, this year’s blogathon goes one step further to include the voices of hundreds of youngsters. In the framework of a competition launched in October 2006, more than 200 schools in 25 countries across the globe have been working in pairs, using technology to cross geographical borders, to create internet safety awareness material on one of three themes: e-privacy, netiquette, and power of image. On Safer Internet Day, all of the projects they have produced will be uploaded to the blogathon.”

The online community of Habbo also issued a press release on how they are designating February as Teen Online Safety Awareness Month with Teen Magazine and Teenmag.com supporting the effort.

Sorry I didn’t catch this earlier. Maybe even some ideas for using social networking with libraries as well regarding TTW, DOPA, or other issues.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki