I struggled to listen to Geert Lovink’s monologue in its entirety, but I managed. All I’ll say regarding that is “pessimistic” is a nice way of describing it. The film Se7en is more upbeat than that piece of audio. Anyway, I must say I side with Kazys Varnelis on this particular issue, not just because it is an optimistic view and I like positivity, but because I believe global networking is a great tool for many things.
Global networking has allowed connectivity to become simpler and easier, and has broken the barriers of geography. This is obviously a common theme throughout globalisation as a whole, but with technology, people are able to connect, create relationship, partnerships, and flourish in whatever it is they choose to pursue. In the social media age, having a voice online is crucial in establishing contacts that may eventually lead to employment or some sort of business venture.
On the other hand, we have the super positive Geert Lovink who talks about “electric loneliness.” What I essentially gathered from his monologue was that the internet and technology is more or less ruining our lives. Ok, well maybe not ruining, but let’s say having a negative impact. I always try to look at both sides of the argument, so I understand the notion that there is potential for people to become isolated on their digital screens and slowly lose contact from the rest of the physical world, but I still disagree with his pessimistic view.
Personally speaking, I once had the opinion that Facebook was a bad thing as I thought it negatively impacted social lives, but once I got on it I realised that if anything, it improves it. Social media and the online world allow you to become more social than ever, as the possibilities of connecting with people are endless. Although, perhaps all of this depends on what your definition of “social” is. Maybe this is slightly off topic, but I’d had many great times connecting with people from all over Australia and the world whilst playing Xbox Live. Just because it was online, does that make those experiences any less valid and enjoyable? The answer is of course “no.”