Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thoughts on The Reading

Chapter 1 explained how people are becoming more and more connected but at the same time more alone. Even though people are emailing, interacting with others through social networking websites, blogging and updating their status' regularly to keep their friends and family informed about what is going on in their lives, people are increasingly becoming distant from others. The more we interact with computers, the less we are interacting with others. This chapter mentions how people do not even know their neighbor's name several times explaining that even though people communicate more they seem to have forgotten the fundamentals of social interaction - the physical aspect of meeting others. The argument of whether or not people are interacting with each other less and less can go both ways. People go to work, spend time with their friends and family, and go to school - all of which involve social interaction. I do not think interaction with others via cyberspace has eliminated the physical contact that people have, but rather extended it through an additional medium. However, social interaction has definitely changed due to cyberspace. People connect with each other through the internet and to an extent that has decreased physical interaction. Oftentimes we will just send an email instead of making a phone call. Could that be because we do not have time? because its more convenient? because it avoids direct confrontation? It could be a combination of all. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that there are people out there - our neighbors do have names. Chapter 2 focused on cyberspace and stated that cyberspace involves: people controlling devices through computers that give them the feeling of feedback as if the devices were parts of their own body, suggesting that the cyberspace is an extension of the self. This chapter also mentions the convergence of technologies. Through various forms of technology people can take pictures, watch videos, dictate to their computers, read books digitally and many other things. The reading explains that cyberspace content is "non physical" only to the extent that people do not interpret messages, designs and commands. Moreover, language itself is meaningless without the interpretations of the minds. Hence, suggesting at cyberspace involves a physical medium aside from that one that includes the wires, computers and everything else in between that connects millions of people across the world to each other.

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