In the modern capitalistic society that we live in, the networking nature and digital connectivity are what keeps us afloat. Varnelis’ view that global networks and the vastly digital aspects to modern communication are necessary and valued when it comes to international trade and the eradications of trade barriers thus encouraging economic growth and prosperity. As individuals left areas of political and economic devastation, changes of locations meant that “public space became increasingly privatized and virtualized…and individuals [became] less and less citizens and more and more consumers” (Varnelis & Friedberg 2008, p.18). The rise of the available technology and social networking via devices had opened the door to increased wealth and stability with increased connectivity.
Lovink does not share the same outlook on the positive aspects to electronic connectivity. In his podcast ‘Electronic Loneliness’ he highlights man y reasons why he heels that the access to digital devices and as a form of electronic communication is stunting society. He believes that people are so trapped in the world where everything is digital and people no longer understand how to act in a civilisation society. He states that we are bored and children being born into this world are merely “clones of a cultural ideal”. People no longer share individual identities and “are locked up in niches, where they are one with the network”(Electronic Lonliness, 1999). He labels the actions of people in a global network as shallow and artificial with an unachievable desire to fill a void.
With the two perspectives on global networks I would say that I am mostly optimistic. Mostly here as I do see all the great things that advance in technology and socialisation over the Internet has done. I understand all the increased products and services that we have been lucky enough to have available to us as consumers due to relaxed trade barriers and international investment. However, on the other end I can be compassionate to Lovnik’s contention of the creation of Electronic Loneliness. I do see the isolation and seclusion of many people as they are so consumed by their belongings in a consumer society. I see small children living in a bubble where the only thing of importance to them is their iPad, and I don’t find that too comforting.
So overall, I suppose you must take the good with the bad. In a society where we can have everything available at our fingertips, it is very easy for it to consume us as much as we consume it.
Electronic Lonliness, 1999, youtube video, 11 November, 18th August 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdr6dVKdDAQ
Ito, M 2008, ‘Introduction’, in Varnelis, K, & Annenberg Center for, Networked Publics, n.p.: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2008., DEAKIN UNIV LIBRARY’s Catalog, EBSCOhost, viewed 22 August 2015.
Varnelis, K, Friedberg, A 2008, ‘Place: The Networking of Public Sphere’ in Varnelis, K, & Annenberg Center for, Networked Publics, n.p.: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2008., DEAKIN UNIV LIBRARY’s Catalog, EBSCOhost, viewed 22 August 2015.