The second portion of this book was very thought provoking. The realities of cyberspace are not only extensive but have come to effect many aspects of daily life interaction and communication. Cyberspace has allowed many to communicate 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Communication in cyberspace is constant and always evolving. From chat rooms to AIM to Myspace to Facebook to blogs to Twitter--we are constantly connected through many different venues. Not only is communication in cyberspace continuous, it is also instant. A "single keystroke" can connect you immediately. The access is instant.
Of course there are both positives and negatives to this continuous and instant communication. The positives are obvious--you are always connected, it's easy, you are always informed, etc... However, I know frequent users that rather communicate through cyberspace then on the phone or in person or perhaps, they first find themselves sending an email rather then picking up the phone or meeting someone in person. Obviously communication in cyberspace seems easier because it is ALWAYS available. However, has cyberspace caused frequent users to become lazy? Why write a letter when you can send a email in a few minutes...we don't even need to pick up the newspaper from our front stoop anymore because we can read it online...we can even find a date online! Beyond communication, cyberspace has changed many facets of our lives. Yes, cyberspace makes things easier and I love the great conveniency that it brings to my life. However, I'm worried about what the future holds: Will people only rely on online dating? Will newspapers/magazines/CDs/DVDS become extinct? Will conversations over a cup-of-joe not take place? I think we have become addicted to cyberspace and eventually...it will only get worse.
Another idea that really came to mind while reading this book was that cyberspace communication has completely decreased face to face contact. Furthermore, it gives many a chance for many to form a "digital self." I see it as false personalities. With the lack of face to face interaction, cyberspace allows one to change oneself. Anyone can pretend to be something they are not, change themselves or even portray to be another person. Cyberspace is an adult version of "dress up."
Through reading this book, the realities of cyberspace slapped me right in the face. Of course I think there are great advantages of cyberspace and the constant advancements are fascinating. However, this doesn't mean that I want "old fashioned" communication to disappear. I, like many others, enjoy face to face contact, conversation and real socializing. As Douglas Rushkoff says..."We don't socialize with anyone when we visit a web-site; we read text and look at pictures. This s not interactivity." (p357)