Monday, April 6, 2009

The Social Petridish

         As Rheingold stated, the Internet is a medium with virtual communities, like micro-organisms that grow in petri-dishes. Cyberspace has its own rules, it is unharnessed. It seems as though our generation has adapted a culture unfamiliar to other generations. It is not like years ago when our grandparents disproved of our parents listening to Rock N' Roll. The Internet has had much greater of an affect on our lives and the way that we communicate, learn, and live. There has been such an impact that, even if our grandparents and parents refuse to use and understand the Internet, they are coming into a time when the must make the Internet a part of their lives. 
           This summer, I worked at Samsung Experience, a show room of media related products such as phones, mp3 players, etc. We had 10 computers available to customers with free access to the Internet. In order to use the Internet, the customer had to type in their email in order to log into the computer. It was shocking to me the number of people who did not have email addresses. They tended to be the older crowd. One guy that came into the store looking to use a computer did not know how to use the keyboard. He didn't even know how to put a space between words. All he wanted to do was Google his name, so I helped him out. It's crazy that the idea of the computer was completely foreign to him...and it's 2009. 
             Cyberspace is such an unfathomable concept. It is more than what we might think it is. It is logistically and relationally more than just the relationship between the user and the computer. The Internet itself exponentially grows each and every year. I remember a commercial several years ago stating that there were over 33,000 websites on the Internet. Today, there are millions of websites and billions of web users. While the expansion of the Internet is a positive thing, we may begin to see more of the negatives in the near future. Almost all information that is put on the Internet is public. Advertisers will surely take advantage of this in the future. They will use detailed psychological profiles to narrow in on their target demographic. This is a scary realization, but the power of the Internet is unstoppable.

1 comment:

  1. the really key thing to remember is that it's not about the hardware, it's about the social interaction and communication