Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where In the World is Cyberspace?

The first part of the reading focused on the many different definitions of cyberspace. The one that struck a cord with me came from Howard Rheingold's in which he said, "the conceptual space where words, human relationships, data, wealth, and power are manifested by people using CMC technology"

When I think of cyberspace I don't think of a physical place, but of a large virtual space where almost anything is possible.  The kicker in Rehingold's definition is the CMC technology. I think that the internet revolves around computer-mediated communication. The communication between individuals in this virtual arena is what drives it. Without people interacting with one another in this realm, it would be useless. I'm not just talking about the human relationship aspect of communicating. Words, data, wealth, and power cannot exist without some sort of communication between people or in the very least other computers.  Even if there is no human interaction taking place, the transferring of information from one area to another is apart of the this CMC technology. 

One of my main complaints about the internet these days, is society's reliance on using CMC technology.  In the beginning of section 2, the point is made that telecommunications were created as a substitute for face-to-face interaction. However, our society has changed the internet from being a substitute to a full fledge alternative.  It feels like face-to-face interaction is no longer the primary mode of communication. People prefer to talk to their friends and family via text messages, instant messages, and email. Cybernetworks and cyberplaces have become more than just alternatives, they have become the preferred areas of interaction over physical locations and transportation. 

My problem with this lack of physical interaction is that it I think it makes us less human and more like robots. I understand there are people who are socially awkward, but when people prefer to interact with others solely through telecommunications, I think that's a problem. Society is becoming less and less physical and that worries me. I also think that all of this information that is being spread through this virtual arena will eventually come back and haunt us. Take Facebook for example. There are millions of college students who have poured their lives out and their most personal information onto a website that can be viewed by practically anyone. Our generation is becoming too comfortable with cyberspace, people are putting too much information into the great wide open. Look at Michael Phelps. No one is safe. 

The Gaslight Anthem - Even Cowgirls Get the Blues


  1. We basically posted the same points at the same time!! =)

  2. You registered this as a complaint, so can you explain why this is a problem?