How has engagement with the Internet affected your experience of time and space?
My engagement with the Internet has been affected by time and space in many ways… possibly too numerous to mention!
Speaking from a professional point of view, I am able to find information far more rapidly via an electronic database or e-book, rather than visit a library and place a “hold” for a book if, after a catalogue search, the book could not be located on the shelves and was unavailable for loan. I can now also find articles published years ago far more quickly than I did in high-school years, when I used a microfiche to search for relevant information published in newspapers, journals and periodicals.
I am able to check my email from colleagues, friends and relatives wherever I am, as long as I have an Internet connection via the device I am using. This concerns me a little sometimes, as colleagues will assume that I will work from home if I read the email they sent outside of working hours. Thus far, I have managed to keep my emails separate in that regard, but I wait for the day when this will no longer be possible. Tsatsou (2009) comments on this trend, stating that “…mobile technologies influence time and space in many realms of social life, such as the transformation of public into private space and vice versa, the blurring of lines demarcating work and personal life…” (p. 18).
From a personal perspective, I am able to make immediate contact with relatives in other parts of the world via social media or services such as Skype. An interesting observation regarding such contact: when I used to write letters (snail mail) to relatives as a tween, I would receive weeks later, in return, lengthy letters detailing all the news of what was going on in their part of the world. Now, I receive and send emails irregularly, with no more than a paragraph from them and far less detail. Are they pressed for time? Or, are we all becoming lazier because we can send such communication to others in all parts of the world whenever we want?
When I initially started using the Internet in the mid-90s, I was mainly sitting at a computer to do so. Even this has changed since then. Now, I am able to be “online” from a variety of private and public spaces and do so with my phone, tablet, laptop, wearable tech. I have to admit that I got quite excited when Google Glass was announced. I actually like the idea of having my online experiences augmented with my “real life”. Google has since decided not to pursue this product, however, as I have mentioned before in the discussion, I look forward to having such augmented experiences via an implant of some kind. I am of the opinion that such wearable tech will be successful when it’s a part of us, rather than something we can add to us. Regardless, these augmented experiences definitely would alter our individual experiences of space and time, as Google’s promo video for Glass illustrates (Google, 2012). The lines between public and private are definitely blurred… even non-existent in many areas.
Google. (2012, April 4). Project Glass: One day… [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/9c6W4CCU9M4?list=PLYMwCkZ_UIQC1FWzNCLl4YTzEkLrVqPBT
Tsatsou, P. (2009). Reconceptualising ‘Time’ and ‘Space’ in the Era of Electronic Media and Communications. PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication, 1(1). 11-32. Retrieved from http://journals.culture-communication.unimelb.edu.au/platform/v1_tsatsou.html
Excellent, Maha! Your reward, should you choose to accept it, is this: http://youtu.be/kCk-cM4A7pY
Yes, let’s stop a moment and think of what wearable technologies do to those divisions of public/private and other divisions of life (work, play, politics and so forth) and, btw, the techy contact lens isn’t too far off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozEwH9v5Fk0
Forgetting to take off your lenses may become even more problematic in the future 😉
Wearable tech will definitely further compress time and space further, making it an expectation that these public/private and work/play worlds are combined at all times. No longer “blurred”, these divisions will not be immediately apparent to those who have never experienced them (i.e. generations born into this kind of tech).
I watched the two YouTube clips you posted. As a correctional contact lens wearer, I really have a strong feeling that I will not have to buy in to purchasing such augmented lenses. It isn’t feasible to wear them 24/7 and/or sleep with them in one’s eyes. I have always been advised that wearing my contact lenses for too long every day will damage my cornea. Again, unless contacts are also improved so they can be worn 24/7, I still envision an implant in our future.
Implants will “kill two birds with one stone”, so to speak. We can be immersed in such augmented experiences all the time, PLUS we can be monitored, surveilled and tracked successfully by governments and powers with pernicious intentions. So many signs in the world point to such a future in my opinion. The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is a good example of that already. China’s surveillance/control over their population’s internet access is another case in point. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it somewhere here before… I already see the signs of an George Orwellian / Aldous Huxlian / Yevgeny Zamyatian future.