Internet Paper

Submitted By badams1994
Words: 2075
Pages: 9

William Adams
Prof. Hannon
English 1A
28 October 2013
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 its potential. While Slouka claims that cyberspace will not be our salvation, but our demise, Dibbell believes that we can learn from cyberspace to improve life in the real world. While these two authors discuss how we are losing sight of what is real through cyberspace, Author Jon Goss exhibits how the American shopping mall is also a distortion of reality by showing how “individuals live in a world that is fabricated for them, and what was once directly lived is now experienced as a commodified representation, preferable to reality” (21). All of these authors demonstrate how everyday experiences are subconsciously warping Americans perception of reality, and that the chance to fix this problem may have past. The reality of human beings is being altered by its representation in a digital form, making the world more hyperreal. Slouka argues that the advancement of technology long paved the road to our unreality. With the internet in particular, “we stand on the threshold of turning life itself into computer code, of transforming the experience of living in the physical world” into something manufactured (7). Cyberspace is constructed to resemble reality, so it can appear to be an environment in which people can escape from the troubles of real society. In agreement with Slouka, Dibbell establishes how the internet can represent reality with computer programming. He shows that