Welcome to the New Age
In San Francisco on the 23rd of September, 20 year old Justin Valdez was shot in the back by a man with a .45-caliber pistol getting off the train. When the police review the security footage, they made a shocking discovery. They watched the shooter pull out his gun and point it several times. He even used the handle of the gun to scratch his nose, but nobody noticed. Lost in their smartphones and tablets, the train passengers were so removed from their immediate reality, that nobody looked up until the shot was fired. The internet, considered to be one of the human race’s greatest achievements, has made the world more connected than ever before, allowing people to keep permanently in touch in every corner of the planet. With all of this power available at our fingertips, its is no surprise that we are glued to the screens of our phones rather than being attuned to the environment around us. Like most of our great achievements, technology comes with a cost. The possibilities of the internet progress as well as its potential downsides. As the capabilities of the internet and technology increase, it is replacing what we know as reality with a hyper-reality, in which reality is fabricated for us, which weakens our idea of community and alters the way humans communicate; this new hyper-reality blurs the boundaries of gender, increasing violence and aggressive behaviors online and in real life.
The internet is a global network in which there are unlimited amounts of information and programs that anyone can access. Billions upon billions of data can be accessed through the internet on almost any topic imaginable. The internet, or cyberspace, is a place in which imagination manifests into something more. Cyberspace is essentially another universe that is free from the bindings and judgement of the physical world. It is that freedom that consumes the mind of millions of people who use it everyday. Author Mark Slouka demonstrates this by arguing that “it is possible to see, in a number of technologies spawned by recent developments in the computer world, an attack on reality as human beings have always know it” (4). Similar to Slouka, author Julian Dibbell also claims that we are on “the brink of a future” in which we are just as concealed in digital environments as we are in physical ones (1). Both authors agree that the internet is slowly but surely not only separating humans from reality, but changing the definition of reality itself. What Slouka and Dibbell disagree on is ...