When the director of Open Source Studio, Randall Packer, surrendered the third space to Diana Mafia, she went into a flush of virtual awkwardness. One by one were the minions of OSS called into this interrogative session. As the mistress of a short duration performance of awkward culture, three compliant accomplice responded in favor; uncertain, bemused and somewhat awkward. The performative aspect of copycat actions has granted allowance for letting go, that one participant, Min, routed a towel around her head when the host, Diana Mafia bundled a turban. One victim, Wei Long, was hesitant. An authentically indian indian man, Prakash, was befitting of a towel turban. Anyway, all of them are embroiled into a series of NSFW (not safe for work) conversation, where content is, however, non-explicitly challenging but with an undertone that incurred awkwardness. What is peculiar and the most attractive situation was that behind the screen, the options are limited to binary opposites. Audiences are to participate in almost ritualistic desires of the chief. Due to the nature of virtuality, there is a chance for second-guessing, which traps respondents in themselves, thus unsure about the socio-virtual normality in reaction.
The pinnacle of this situation is most viably addressed with the expression “virtual awkwardness”, where the reality of society is transposed through the real space to the third space. “The real” has permeated from physicality to virtuality. The psyche of acting and reacting based on social contract of agreement and judgement in acceptability has to be rewrote, through this instigation, where formalities become informal, and the informal is subjected to be re-interpreted and perhaps, accepted.
In line with the Open Source Studio inception in classroom conduct, Randall Packer has verbally approve of a conversation log that runs throughout the class which would have otherwise never been approve of in conventional real classroom settings. A student is distracted is he is using other communication devices and deemed as not paying attention, in fact, unmannerly in due respect to the real space host. In a AdobeConnect class time, lines of messages are exchanged and would not be classified as a bane and competitive towards attention for the host. In this very manner, the socially acceptable behavior has transformed. Or rather, it is virtually acceptable.
One other observation of distraction, then, would be the representation of an avatar through video. There is a synchronization of participants, interactive or not, with their static camera angle. It can be a well-defined distraction, not within the space in frame but the instability of the vision of one’s studio space. For instance, connecting through the third space on transit while walking. A situation like this with changing background (studio space) can be virtually unacceptable, as much as one might be paying attention. It is probably similar in vibrations to how a teacher conducting a class in real-time can be distracted by happenings like noisy students or just plain disruptions.
Above all, the organisation of the third space is ever-evolving, so are the rules to virtual contract of agreement. In the contemporary and modern Internet times, we consider virtual law and regulations to facilitate higher civilizations while tracking and managing conditions. We currently in this global climate of identifying and adjusting to the virtual, writing rules consciously or subconsciously to what is virtually acceptable. We live, breathe, acknowledge and embrace virtual awkwardness.