October 22, 2012

I Hate Hypermediacy

Bolter and Grusin say on page 218 that "what is new, perhaps, is the overt expression of these choices and often the technological overkill involved. The overkill is almost animalistic because, by injecting media into every imaginable device, ubiquitous computing brings into these devices to a kind of artificial life. Ubiquitous  computing is an extreme form of hypermediacy." How right they are. Just in writing this blog post, I am surrounded by so many electronic devices. To my left I have another monitor which has many tabs open on it as well as a movie I'm watching. That monitor is connected to my laptop which also has numerous tabs open on it, one of which is Facebook. Then, on my bed to my right I have my phone which is connected to my computer so it can update my apps. That's serious overkill, but I imagine for a lot of people that's the norm. Bolter and Grusin highlight this on page 219 when they say that "we stay put figuratively and literally, while the computers bustle around opening files, opening windows, switching cameras and sound systems off and on to suit our needs." Think about your precious technological stuff. You hear people say "My whole life is in that laptop, or I'd like totally die without my phone." People put a LIFE value on these things, which is kind of pathetic. You don't NEED that phone to live.... How do you think people communicated before the Internet and phones. They managed.  Just like this guy.

Or what about Twitter and Facebook profiles which are the epitome of artificial life? Those websites require the flesh and blood you to update your real life through an artificial platform based off a profile you've made that is supposed to represent you. You aren't technically a real person online, your are a "profile," but yet we accept this as commonplace.  And now that I've completely confused myself  I don't if Bolter and Grusin  would define Facebook and Twitter as a virtual reality or as a telepresence. "Telepresence can thus define a relationship between medium and the physical world different from that of virtual reality. While virtual reality would replace the physical world with a simulacrum, telepresence brings the world into the virtual environment (and vice versa)" (Bolter and Grusin 214). So where does social media fit into all of this?

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