The Optimist vs. the Pessimist

Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, there is no arguing the presence of global networks in our lives, and how prominent and established it is. Like everything, there are two sides to an argument and the global network proves to be no different. Kazys Varnelis is the optimist that believes “cultural changes transformed the world we live in”, and that “the mass audience is atomized, dispersed across the Web into networked public's”. In complete contrast we have Geert Lovink who takes pessimism to a whole new level…

Geert Lovink believes that the global network is an “electronic loneliness” “where people experience nothing anymore, and the future will have nothing to offer”. Lovink doesn't just sound like a pessimist he seems to study pessimism too. To think that the global network is an empty world of “desolation and traps” is not just naive but ignorant too. The global network is a world of opportunity, where people from all walks of life can connect and learn from each other, its education and free information. Maybe there’s even a little bit of hypocrisy by uploading all of his findings on a YouTube channel where anyone and everyone can listen to them.

I’m a optimist, with reservations. I believe the global network is a world of information and learning, where we can expand our knowledge, connect with people and help them too. I often come across Facebook pages fundraising money or just advocating tough times and appealing to other people for comfort. One thing that comes to mind in ‘Love for Leighton’, which is a Facebook page of a lady who lost her husband to illness and is now sharing her grief online (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-for-Leighton/222793371241925). Every comment is of people empathising or just giving their love and it is on here you find the true support of the global network. In saying that there are some that use the internet to become anti-social introverts, who troll the internet for vulnerable people to break, and then there are the gamer’s who completely disassociate themselves with the outside world.

“The network in all its forms — communications, commerce and transportation — is the cultural dominant of our time” — Kazys Varnelis

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