I was sitting in the lounge of my co-ed fraternity last night working on my homework when an alumni from our fraternity stopped by to say hello. He joined us since the majority of the fraternity was hanging out there. After a few minutes of sitting quietly among us he said, "I haven't been in college for a while, but as far as I remember it, there were never this many computers in one room." Indeed, he had graduated in 2000 and socialized in the same social spaces as we currently were. Despite the fact that not everyone was doing homework, everyone in the room (about 25 people) had a computer. We were all in fact imprisoned by technology.
As Manovich explains, we are being imprisoned by the unreal. It physically separates us from social interactions as we find it easier to gchat our friends rather than hang out with them or to look up pictures of trees rather than going outside and taking one. It also imprisons us by creating an imagined community that we seem very happy to be a part of. Take for example Facebook, in it one can create lists of friends so that you can choose to keep in touch with specific people. It limits what we know about everyone else we are friends with. Although we have a bit more control over these lists, the advertisements on the side of my screen are catered to me. Most of the ads that come u for me tend to be related to Jason Mraz in one way or another. The internet creates a prison for me by limiting the options I have. Thus, the user and the mind become imprisoned within a screen that presents them with the unreal. With this will we ever know what is real?