I will be examining a case study that Kae McKenzie brought up in her post ‘#IWISHMYTEACHERKNEW HOW MUCH THIS WOULD HAVE HELPED ME 8 YEARS AGO’, but from the perspective of constructing a social media persona and digital objects.
Kyle Schwartz’s twitter profile @ is made up of digital objects that people value and share. She’s created her own economy in the form of ‘confessions from her students’ that she’s acquired as a 3rd year teacher.
It’s arguable that Schwarz’s serial release of these confessions as images plays into the notion of collecting objects, like a game. Joshua Gamson suggested that “celebrity is not a prestige system, or a postmodern hall of mirrors, but … a game” (Marwick & Boy 2011). The value in her tweets has made her a micro-celebrity which she generated from her own digital economy: images of underdeveloped handwriting.
The hashtag #iwishmyteacherknew and the accompanying images are digital objects reproduced by Schwartz for her Twitter account. They, along with the last 5 of 10 tweets between May 10 – 14 that had the word thank you in it, form an influential persona that promotes goodwill and selflessness in the educational community. She’s started a trend that’s influenced other teachers around the world to replicate her digital objects.
Schwarz’s has been able to use Twitter to promote a new way to connect a student with their teachers, and being able to relate that experience through her digital objects.
Marwick, A & Boyd, 2011, ‘To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter’, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 17(2), 139–158