Turner (2005) cites Rheingold (1994) which describes the disembodied precincts of cyberspace and that we lost a sense of cooperative spirit when we gained an increase in technology. This week whilst looking at online community I have been immersed in the digital world. These days, I’m never seen without a device in my hand or laptop in front of me and sometimes all of my digital equipment as I multitask. I have never been so active online before and on so many forums. I feel exhausted. I am making a digital presence in several learning and social communities but I am withdrawn from my real life. I am forgetting to connect with the people around me and if I am, my time and focus is limited. Will I lose the community that I have built around me because of my ignorance and lack of manners? My phone runs out of battery and instead of charging it I leave it ‘dead’ in my bag. I am fearful that I am missing out online but remind myself it is only for an afternoon. Although, as I look around, I discover EVERYONE is on their phone. They are talking to each other whilst looking at and scrolling social media ON THEIR PHONE. I am frustrated at my real life community and myself. Have we forgotten to connect with the people in front of us?
“The process of ‘social shaping’ leaves a medium with a social form, an identity, which influences the way it is used and its impact on the world; it is never quite shaken off.” (Lister 2009, p176)
Lister, M. (2009) Chapter 3. Networks, users and economics. New media: a critical introduction pp.163-236, London: Routledge
Rheingold, H. (1994). The virtual community: Finding connection in a computerised world. London: Martin Secker & Warburg.
Turner, F.(2005). Where the counterculture met the new economy: There WELL and the origins of virtual community. Technology an dCulture, 46(3), 485-512. DOI:10.1353/tech.2005.0154
— Linzi McLagan (@LinziMclagan) March 2, 2017