|Do we know what's real anymore?|
Cyberspace creates a paradox that undermines the natural balance of self. The user questions what is real versus what is artificial. It’s easy to get caught up in the artificial environment. As explained in chapter 14, the concept of self is developed in the face to face encounters with other people and objects. However, in cyberspace interaction is taken place symbolically. When an individual is in a digital environment they are submerged in a world of written language, images, video, sounds, 3D objects, and virtual people. The perception of a physical environment is easily replaced with the artificial one that is generated by a computer system. This generation there is many technological advances that allow individuals to distinguish the difference between both worlds. These advances include laptops, iPads, tablets, and even smart phones. The only scary thing about the virtual world is that it could threaten the “ecology to self” that represents a physical and “natural” world. Can it be that immersion into the cyber world will distance us from our physical state of mind? Virtual reality is more so an escape for the human mind not the body.
Getting over the edge chapter 15 explains how everything is information and is digital. It is said that everything in the near future will be light speed quick. It goes on to examine the future of electronic text. Will printed form continue in the near future? Are we going to give up print and publish through electronic texts? But as I read this book on cyberspace it proves that we are far along from transitioning from the Gutenberg ways to the electronic culture. Yes, today we have tablets such as the kindle and iBooks on apple products. We are slowly reaching a point of conversion but it still isn't for sure.
Chapter 16 expresses how writing is an essential tool. It can be viewed as an art because writers paint pictures with their words and expressions. Writing for the internet, an individual is either conveying or persuading a message to their viewers with the use of writing instruments, materials and the influence of the environment.
“One reason I find writing for the internet so fulfilling is that the web’s natural rhythms and strong, personal voices…” (Paglia 268).
This may be true because there isn't just one writer for the internet. There are endless amount of bloggers, reporters, editors, and etc. that express their thoughts on the web. The key to writing for the internet is visual because you’re painting a picture for your viewers.
Ever since I can remember I've been using hypertext since 3rd or 4th grade. A computer class was a part of my curriculum and learning how to type on a program as fast as we can. It’s evident that design computers take up a great deal of our lives such as: ATM's Game boys, palm pilots, cell phones, Nintendo’s, smart cars and the internet itself” (Gibson 279). Handwriting anything is truly a thing in the past. People and mostly students turn to their personal computers or tablets to type up any needed notes in class or projects. In chapter 17 it is said that education has been an area that is affected the most from the technological developments. This chapter addresses how hypertext is introduced into the educational system at all levels even from kindergarten. But I know everyone in this class can say that without hypertext class may not be able to exist. For instance, Professors post PowerPoint’s, documents, readings, and any other important notes on webcampus. That is only accessible through an online database. Webcampus also allows us to communicate to each other and the professor as well, through discussions and e-mail. It’s no doubt that the World Wide Web is a part of the world of education now. Hypertext has definitely shifted our educational system to the extent that textbooks may become obsolete in the classroom. Journals and academic articles may be found on an online database and may be seen as more inviting than your traditional textbook.
Chapter 18 brings into many respects the cultural transaction from print to electronic media. The newspaper has become a medium of mass communication, both sharing information and revitalizing the culture. But the print media may be hindered because of the technological advances that are underway. But those media outlets that are already replacing the paper are websites such as NYTimes.com, CNN.com, and other news network websites. As a society we embrace more digital forms every day. Transitioning from print to media makes the personal computer a popular item, both as a consumer product and as a cultural icon, representing as an interface not only between media evolution's but between two social classes.