Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Human Condition and Digital Media

Friday, 11Am Sectio

Going through this weeks readings/page excursions-as I will call them- I found myself thinking more about the human condition in relation to digital media than anything else. In “A Rape in Cyberspace,” I found myself recounting first what we discussed at the commencement of the class, around the first/second week, the idea of what cyberspace was supposed to be and what it actually is. “Dropping me with what seemed a warm electric thud” is reminiscent of the concept of “Jacking on” or uploading oneself-metaphorically in this instance, though literally in the supposed- into the cyber-sphere and having the ability to navigate through the different interfaces by thought, this idea was furthered by, “where I stepped into the persona and appearance of a minor character from a long-gone television sitcom...” I suppose this would be the idea that on the internet you can also be whoever you want to be, like in a chat-room, no one would ever know if you’re telling the truth about who you are because there must be some sense of either gullibility or credibility. I attribute the first to mans addictive nature, regardless of whether we admit it or not we are all addicted to something, it doesn’t have to be negative, per se, but we are all users of some thing or another. The second I give to our innate desires to be who we want, to have the freedom to do what we want, and to imagine that we have the things we want.

Now in terms of the page excursions, I found Jennicam and Anacam to be the most intriguing. With Jennicam, I felt so invasive, so intrigued by her life, which is completely ordinary… I guess I was/am so intrigued by this nothingness; the idea that I could actually see how another person is living their life was simultaneously very boring and very intriguing. I wanted to know what happened or was happening, wanting to see more or know more about this person and if her routines might change or if her life might spark some excitement. I was caught in the “what ifs.” The thoughts of what could be in her life with some outside stressor. There is also the idea of being in control of her life since I didn’t see it in real life so I was able to decide what I was looking at, what I cared about, what I wanted to see, where I wanted to go, etc. And having this control was very liberating, I guess before going through this and having these experiences with the page excursions I never thought about all the control I do have in cyberspace even though it is something that we’ve discussed before. And I never thought of this control as something so necessary for the human condition, the desire to have some sort of control in ones life and do as one pleases without real consequences; in other words, we like hierarchy and equality and want to control others (or other things) while also being controlled. With the anacam, it would turn on then off then on again… after a while it was difficult to try and understand what was happening. Ultimately, I closed it before it opened again; I felt that this was the only way that I was actually in control over the domain. This then goes back to what has been discussed before about one is ultimate drive for control.

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