Stalking My Professors

While searching on my Professor, Mary Grace Abdoney (she/her/hers), I can tell she has an active and dynamic social media presence. She frequently uses platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and even dabbles in posting pictures on Flickr.

Professor Abdoney was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and the earliest schooling that is noted on her social media platform is her attendance at H.B. Plant High School. Thereafter, she studied Philosophy (as well as Anthropology and Secondary Education) and graduated from the University of Florida in 1999. Since, she has been a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Alumnae Association – an organization dedicated to sisterhood, leadership, knowledge, and service – and has graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master of Arts, Library, and Information Science.

Upon searching ‘Mary Abdoney’, the first few links related to her involvement at Washington & Lee University, which comes as no surprise as she has been a part of the faculty since 2006 (found via W&L directory, LinkedIn, and Facebook). Then, at the fourth link, I found her Twitter handle – @MaryMaryLibrary (she is a Librarian after all). 

Professor Abdoney’s Twitter bio states that she, “Likes: critical librarianship, digital pedagogy, alternative publishing, and empowering students.” From there, I was able to put some pieces together. She tends to have a liberal stance on political issues (and was very much so an Elizabeth Warren supporter) and believes in the inclusivity of all ethnicities, sexualities, socioeconomic statuses, and gender identities. Looking through her recent Tweets, Professor Abdoney was also particularly upset with the delay in closing the library as COVID was ramping up in the United States.

From her Twitter, I decided to do a deep dive into her blog. There, I was really able to read more about her personal opinions. One thing that is for certain is that she strongly dislikes the patriarchy and fervently believes in women’s rights. She goes on to mention in other posts her struggle balancing life as a working woman and mom for her Kindergarten-aged son, Emmett. This made me more curious about her family life, so I navigated my way to her Facebook and Instagram. Immediately, you can tell she absolutely loves her cat whose name is Kat, baking, sewing/quilting, gardening, and taking pictures of flowers. 

There was one more site I had yet to scroll through. Flickr. From there, I learned that Professor Abdoney goes on several trips and is married to Ned Norland – who, after doing a little more searching, works on the IT staff at W&L. They met each other in 2008, drove to each other on the weekends for four years from Chapel Hill to Lexington (vice versa) to be with each other, and later married on September 29, 2012 at the Castle House at Washington & Lee (wedding information provided through maryandned.com). Other little facts about Professor Abdoney on her wedding site include that she can play the violin and cello, and used to be a ballerina and danced in three productions with Tampa Ballet.

And in 2020. Well. She just really, really doesn’t like 2020.

Professor Elizabeth Anne Teaff (eat) was not as open of a book as Professor Abdoney on her social media. From what I could find, her birthday is June 16, 1974 and her hometown is Columbus, Ohio, but then moved to Gloversville, New York in 1985. She studied Studio Art at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (Class of 1994), then at the State University of New York at Potsdam (Class of 1996), and then Library and Information Science at University of South Carolina (Class of 2006). On her Instagram and Facebook she describes herself as ‘quiet and quirky’, sports many different hair colors, posts many pictures of flowers and an occasional cat, and supports the LGBTQ+ community. 

From my research, I could see both Professor Abdoney and Professor Teaff’s filter bubble on social media most likely including pictures of flowers, cats, and liberal stances on media. 

 

I find it interesting just how much personal information you can choose to put out online- as demonstrated through the different social media activities/presences of Professor Abdoney and Professor Teaff. Sometimes, now with the Internet and social media, you can learn the general history of someone if you take the time which is interesting/powerful, but scary. Social media sites like Facebook can even identify your emotions nowadays and share their data with advertisers, as highlighted in the article,  “Facebook Told Advertisers It Can Identify Teens Feeling ‘insecure’ and ‘Worthless.’”   as well as use this information to change people’s feelings (using emotional contagion). Companies and businesses have incredible control over us today – and they have social media/the Internet to thank for that. 

However, I don’t think I would personally change how I use social media because I have always been, for the most part, wary of my digital footprint and it is has played a relatively key part in my daily life. I do think, though, that I will search my name up more often to see what might be out there that I do not know about my digital self.

“Mary Abdoney.” The Washington and Lee University Library, library.wlu.edu/about/library-directory/mary-abdoney.

Abdoney, Mary. “Mary Abdoney, MLS.” Mary Abdoney MLS, 9 Dec. 2019, maryabdoney.wludci.info/.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryabdoney
https://twitter.com/MaryMaryLibrary?lang=en
 
http://www.maryandned.com/about-us.html

Flickr, Instagram, Facebook

One Day of Web Interactions

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

10AM: alarm

10:30: texted my brother

11AM: wished friends a happy birthday

12PM: reached out to someone via text

Articles online for classes (New York Times, Washington Post, reading for Black Mirror and Digital Culture)

Email French and Communications professor

Go on Canvas multiple times

7:30PM: call friends and text my figure skating coach

8:00PM French study through Canvas

8:45PM and 10PM: text friends on Snapchat

After 10PM: Write blog post while listening to music

Looked through Snap and Instagram throughout the day

I am mostly online for coursework when I need to read articles for class, access Canvas, or communicate with my professors to clarify and fulfill assignments. I use the Internet to communicate with my friends and family back home, as well as to meet up or talk to friends here. It is a quick and easy way to have a conversation with someone, near or far, or make plans. In terms of my personal fulfillment, I use Spotify to listen to music – an essential for when I want to decompress. I also just enjoy being able to contact my friends. That definitely fulfills me because I consider myself a people person.

I have to say that it is amazing how many articles and how much reading material one can access on the Internet. I find that the Internet is necessary for all different components of my day. The best part- I have endless sources of music to stream for my personal enjoyment. The Internet is truly amazing, but it also raises so many expectations for response timeliness (with friends and for classes) and makes comparison culture hard to avoid. Additionally, it has made it easy to become wrapped up in the negative aspects of the news (especially with COVID). At times I catch myself being concerned with what is happening online when I should be focusing on the present moment. I am worried, though, that this will spill over into motherhood.

In the reading “The Quantified Baby.”, the author talks about her concerns during her pregnancy cycle and obsession with logging everything her son did during the early months of motherhood. I hope I won’t be too caught up in the discussion forums and analyze every day of the early parenthood stages. However, with the strength of participatory culture, I know I will find it difficult to avoid engaging – especially as I try to navigate parenting (and try to be the best mother I can).

I know my parents found it tricky to keep in touch with friends and family when they went off to college, but it is now something that I do not even need to worry about. The Internet seamlessly weaves into our everyday lives – whether for the good or the bad.