Jones Stephen (1997) Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety

Jone Stephens discusses the relationship we share with technology. He begins firstly by our expectations of technology – that once witnessing it’s function we then expect it to function even better. However, when something doesn’t work efficiently and accordingly we are utterly absorbed by the fact the technology has done the unexpected, and our attentions are then misplaced to the object than our own expectations. Instead we choose to restart the computer than to try to find alternatives.

This could be due to our impatience that stems from our anxiety toward technology. That fundamentally we are never satisfied with our technologies because they will undoubtedly be something better soon to replace it, and thus we grow impatient but also hesitant to invest in new technologies, and if we don’t,l we will be left behind.

Stephen discusses the ultimate triumph of global connection, achieved by its infrastructure of; transportation, communication and storage. An interesting point on storage – we continue to add new information instead of filtering and subtracting, but with virtual storage it becomes an indefinite capacity much like our imagination, the only difference being is;  there’s having information and knowing information.

Stephen goes onto explain  the evolution of technologies, particularly the internet. Though a revolution, allowing connections to be made irrespective of time and location, it holds it’s disadvantages, such as the loss of personality when communicating via computer, or the dissolved affects of real life human interaction, the divided attention and in some cases addiction.

Later, Stephen expresses his concerns on “Who are we when we are online?” discussed in greater lengths on the topics of cyberspace and cyber communities.

Cyberspace is a platform that allows participants to share their public life. It is place that can be utilised passively or a place where you choose to be an author. For some users, the lack of physical space that would otherwise create tension and animosity provides a safety net, so in this space, some users may what I like to term “cyber brave” a bolder, riskier exaggerated character that would not otherwise been seen in human social interactions.


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