It wasn’t a diplomatic crisis, but technically it was an international incident.
The last live hangout for the online class “E-Learning and Digital Cultures” had to be scheduled to start at 10 a.m. instead of at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate graduation ceremonies. But since the class is being given by the University of Edinburgh which is located Greenwich Mean Time and not Pacific Standard Time, this meant a start time of 2:00 a.m. for me. On Friday. With Thanksgiving turkey still in my belly.
I stayed quiet throughout the session because of being intoxicated by tryptophan. For a brief moment, I dozed. But I woke up in time to hear a discussion of a new word that had been coined by Ary Aranguiz, a MOOC Community Teaching Assistant.
The word was a combination of identities that arguably all who spend an appreciable amount of time communicating online will understand. We are ‘strangers’ and yet we become ‘friends’. We could be sitting next to someone in a coffee shop who we have instant messaged the choicest details of our lives, and yet we don’t even recognize them unless their avatar is a really accurate photo. But no one posts accurate photos.