Essay 5: Week 6- Global Networks and Lovink’s pessimism.
It is true that our society has developed into one ‘hive brain’ of a global network. Parts of the world that were once secluded and desolate are now able to receive information from areas of the globe booming with tourism and productivity.
Kazys Varnelis (2008) was enthusiastic that the rise of a global networked media industry would mean the productive rise of network culture. Not everyone shared in his optimism though. Geert Lovink was one individual in particular that had some serious doubts as to how beneficial such growth would be to society.
Lovink provides a pessimistic view and paints a picture of an individual’s life journey through his version of ‘electronic loneliness’. Lovink explains electronic loneliness as a child’s need/expectation to excel at school with range of sport, educational and cultural experiences at the expense of enjoying life’s pursuits (Lovink).
I believe the aspect of being expected to excel in sport contradicts Lovink’s view of electronic loneliness. Sport and any other physical exertion releases natural endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. Sport is in stark contrast to lurking on facebook or sitting on the internet all day.
My opinion on the Global Network is mostly positive too. Areas such as medicine and education have benefited tremendously due to research and technology that can be directly tied to the global networking age.
The ability to communicate with people from around the globe in an instant can only be beneficial due to the ways different cultures tackle various problems and issues. Countries as a whole can learn from another’s mistakes and successes whether it is political, medicinal or economical with a touch of a button. This can only be a good thing in today’s modern society.
On a personal level, any number of issues can be read about and explored in an instant rendering any arguments against the global network useless. Knowledge is a power and there is now more accessible information for the common individual than ever before.
Varnel,K. 2008, Networked Publics. Boston: MIT Press (Introduction)
Geert Lovnik’s Monologue, Electronic Loneliness