Our Global Network
A global network is the connection of people around the world via telecommunications systems such as the internet and with the use of telecommunications gadgets such as mobile phones. The global network is decentralized and draws from an infinite number of sources. It engages individuals and societies and encompasses all facets of life including political, economic, social etc. Through this global network people are exceedingly interconnected and our lives intertwined with others via technology.
The global network system has positive connotations for society. It brings the world to our fingertips. It forces countries, governments and organizations to become increasingly transparent and thus accountable on a global public scale — think “wiki-leaks”. It creates awareness around wars, injustices and human rights issues globally. Social media platforms strengthen and broaden existing connections and relationships between individuals and groups both in cyberspace and the “real” world.
However, Geert Lovink, a media theorist and innovative philosopher, regales us with a dark, monotone, suicide inducing monologue about the negative and potential downward spiral of society as a result of the increase in global networks. Lovink drones that as individuals “we experience nothing” (are we not living beings in the real world anymore?), our “Existence without context” (does Lovink actually talk — with his mouth, to people?) & “Electronic Loneliness” (only if we choose this!).
As an intelligent species we choose how and when we use global networking in our personal lives. We choose to use it to improve our worlds and dissolve age old barriers and to facilitate and create connections. Kazy Varnelis, a historian and theorist in network culture believes that “Ours is not a machine age, rather it is a network age, in which connection is more important than division.” Hear hear.
Freedom of choice remains in the participation of global networking in our personal lives. Global networking is in a phase of ascension. Everything eventually plateaus. Perhaps the plateau of global networks will come when personal choice is eliminated. Perhaps a mass backlash may transpire then. And perhaps global networking will fall from the ether of space and slide into the hungry bowels of the earth. And perhaps then we will be looking to the Amish for advise. And perhaps then Lovink will be Lovink the disconnection of our global network…and society.
Geert Lovink’s monologue, Electronic Loneliness:<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdr6dVKdDAQ>
Kazys Varnelis in: Varnelis, K. 2008 Networked Publics. Boston: MIT Press ( HYPERLINK “http://varnelis.net/network_culture/introduction" \t “_blank” Introduction to the book)