Technology has control issues too.

In the very first sub-heading at the very first page of Lanier’s book : You Are Not A Gadget gave the impression of Lanier’s outlook on technology. As soon as I read the words “missing persons” I pretty much knew what I was getting into. Clearly it was a subtle indication that implied the distance between humans and the fast growing, uncontrollable pace of the technology around us.

Before the 21st century, Lanier appreciated the initial purpose of technological advances such as the internet commonly known as the “World Wide Web” which was intended for sharing information with the world. But after the 21st century the existence of “open culture” took over. The term “open culture” refers to blogs, facebook, twitter or any other forum that allows the world to communicate in a somewhat controlled environment. Lanier believes that these forums caused interpersonal communication between humans which is clearly not normal. I agree with this point of view because many people prefer to sit behind their computers for hours rather than socialize in the outside world and we fail to acknowledge the fact that the fast growing pace of technology and the internet only harbors and nurtures this interpersonal habit. We have lost touch with the world, everything is now technological, from our cell phones to ipods to laptops, we fail to realize how much we depend on technology. In fact, a site I visited: www.globeandmail.com summarized the book by stating that Lanier identified the totalitarian effect that technology is having on the human race.

According to Lanier he believes that technology has the ability to change people, the example he provided about avatars and how they act as a digitized representation of ourselves illustrated his belief. For instance, Lanier’s example with respect to increasing the height of an avatar , which would in turn automatically transform one’s self-esteem and self-perception, I can relate to this example. Although I am not a lover of computer games, at the same time I am not a complete novice since I engaged in a popular game called The Sims which involved creating avatars and basically trying to live and survive in a computerized world. I found myself creating an avatar that represented ideally how I wanted to be in terms of looks, life style and ways of living and quite frankly it made me happy.

Sources :

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~ by fcalliste on May 18, 2010.

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