Monday, June 21, 2010

Communication and Cyberspace-Part 2

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 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)


  1. Obviously, I tend to believe that cyberspace not only makes people lazier, but it makes people less reponsible in their behavior. I will give you a local example: it is a gold mine if you find someone at Fordham University in any of the offices (except for Financial Aid of course because they handle the money issue for students!) who takes his or her time to physically answer any questions you may have and even provide local assistance. Instead, you find every single officer or worker directing you to go online. I mean, what kind of behavior is that? That is a complete insult to me because the people who work at a place where I am paying lots of money for an education treat me like some garbage bag! Are these people getting paid to lie around and get fat instead of doing their jobs? Unfortunately, one too many workers at our university acts robotic, even though I want to say unconsciously, but maybe it's in their inherent nature to escape responsibility that way because it is easier, according to them to direct you to an online source. That, to me, is a real slap in the face, and it is not about realization of cyberspace, but rather it is a sad realization that the perosnal behavior that I am used to and grew up with is becoming extinct BY CHOICE. I do think that people have the ability to change this and revert a true college experience back to the way it has always been. So if you ask me, cyberspace is a way to escape responsibility and that is not right. In other words: Fordham University education: $20,000 a year...personal service from a Fordham employee: priceless...

  2. Much depends on the context. If you compare cyberspace to face-to-face communication, you conclude that we're losing touch with other people. If you contrast it with print media, you conclude that we've restored some measure of interaction. And both are correct, when taken together, neither are entirely true by themselves.

  3. That remark about doing away with print media reminded me of the video we saw in class about googlezon. Though I don't believe googlezon will dominate entirely like the video said, I can really see newspapers going out of business over the years simply because of the convenience of finding and reading news online. I personally don't know anyone who reads a paper copy of a newspaper anymore. Actually....what I could see happening is newspaper sites like The New York Times Online will start charging money for online subscriptions.