<span class='p-name'>Trouble Sounding Stupid</span>

Trouble Sounding Stupid

The [common trait in] people that we have noticed are best at learning a language is that they have no trouble sounding stupid.

Luis von Ahn

This quote from Luis von Ahn makes me think about the considerations people will have as they build up their online identity.

I put myself out there, and always have.

I was the class clown growing up. I was not afraid to open my mouth in groups. Not afraid to play dumb and use this as a teaching moment, or to make others laugh. By extending this, I’m also not afraid to test out and try new things. This extends to work that I build and share online.

But, as I work with others I’ve had the questions/concerns/trepidation about putting themselves out there. Many colleagues have said…”Yeah, but you are brave and put yourself out there.” I wonder what solace I can provide for others as they reach out.

This also makes me wonder IF I should extend myself in this way. Are there ultimate consequences if I share online, and I am later proven to be wrong or insincere?

In my previous research we identified this as risk seeking/aversion behavior.

This may also be a consideration of time, as in “I don’t have time to deal with that.”

This may also be a consideration of self-identity and self-efficacy. This means do individuals believe their ideas have merit or value.

This may also be a question of “voice” and finding your voice as you write.

A lot of my experience in building up these tools has been me bumbling and making mistakes. I try to identify these mistakes so others don’t have to. In this, I need to recognize my privilege as a white, cisgender male in our society.

How do we support individuals as they leap out on that stage and speak their narrative? How can we create a space for them to learn, engage, and connect without having to sound stupid….or have this impact them at a later date?

As we learn how to be literate in a digital society, how can we hold space for individuals as they have concerns about how this will be perceived?


This post is Day 22 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

Photo by Stephen Sharp on Unsplash

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