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Is web a trap?

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 42 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
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Some comments to a couple of videos I watched (this and this) made me want to discuss the relation between web and reality.

What if, after the Web 2.0 buzz dies down, the world realizes that we are in a way now trapped by our own hands into a web which we cannot escape easily anymore? What if we realize then that we have created a virtuality at the expense of rather than as an extension to reality?

I've seen some comments saying that they are hooked, jacked, plugged, addicted to the web. We don't need intelligent malicious robots to create a matrix for us. We're doing it all by ourselves and plugging our own heads into it. Laughing out loud

I sometimes think, although briefly, about people who barely have a TV, let alone a computer, living in a forest somewhere and yet living a *full* life. I wonder, what do we technology laden personas have that he lacks, really? More knowledge, but also hence more responsibility and frustration. More power? Yes, and that's also more responsibility and frustration. Sticking out tongue We can do more for the world change than the forest guy (who lives while he can, without worrying much about what happens elsewhere and what may happen to him some day)? Perhaps... but only if we take the responsibility to heart.

So what's the deal with the internet? I for one will admit that if it were not for the web (and computers in general) I'd probably have a girlfriend by now, be more fit looking, sleep more regularly and socializing with people that actually surround me much more.

But I traded most of that for this life within an abstractness of the intellectuality that is inspired by what I learned on the web, for the web and through the web for the world. It is invisible. It entertains only the brain, but it is powerful.. dangerously powerful.

This topic is, for once, about that dangerous part, not the powerful part.

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
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Nice pun . I don't know if

Nice pun Smiling .

I don't know if our lives would be less trapped without the net. Maybe we would use the time we spend on the net for watching tv.

User offline. Last seen 7 years 16 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
A female friend made an

A female friend made an interesting observation. Most appliances for the home are great, we spend money buying them to save time, but the TV costs money and takes up our time. She called it the most wasteful invention in history.

The web is replacing the TV to an extent, so are computer games. I too suffer that imbalance, but I'm starting to correct it and get more diversity going again. Before the web, light-hearted banter felt like a failure, it wasn't meeting my needs and I'd disconnect if it wasn't interesting enough. The ability to engage in deeper conversations online means I don't have that hunger when I socialise or chat with people serving me in shops or what not. I'm a lot more cheerful now.

But that's the story of living through the 'before and after'. I wonder if younger generations will strike a better balance than us older beans who perhaps overreacted to the fairly sudden opportunity, or will they be far worse having never known an alternative lifestyle?

dylunio's picture
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If you didn't have the

If you didn't have the Internet, or TV wouldn't people who strove for more knowledge just be reading books in libraries and collecting stamps (which is a very good way to get general knowledge I've been told)? If we were doing these things instead, being 'bookish' would our social situations be different? I doubt it, we'd still be the slightly pale bachelors that we blame the internet for creating.

For me the internet has given me the ability to talk about politics, technology and philosophy, which I have not been able to do with my peers, and which there are no facilities for where I live (it being a very small city or 20,000 people). Because of this, like democrates, I am happier, I am able to talk to my peers about more frivolous things which they enjoy talking about, because my thirst to talk about more abstract ideas has been quenched.

Though I do think that living out one's whole life through the internet is dangerous, as you still need to interact with 'real' society. Otherwise you'll feel lonley and feel vindictive of all the people you may see out side your window living 'normal', 'happy' lives.

memenode's picture
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You said it well guys.

You said it well guys. Overall I would say that I still definitely benefit from the internet perhaps more than I may be losing. To be honest I don't really perceive many losses. And those which I do.. well, they're some things to work on, but they're just a matter of achieving greater balance between online and the rest.

But TV is the worst... how many hours can be wasted just sitting, literally doing nothing but "consuming", just watching and entertaining your brain by whatever is being broadcasted. And then you get up and continue on with your too ordinary life.

When you watch or read something on the web, a lot of the times we may feel encouraged to at least leave a comment or talk about it on some forum, blog or channel, not to mention being encouraged to actually create something of your own that others can read or watch or listen.

So I guess it's a trade off in any case, but the web prevails. I guess the only ones who can trap us is ourselves. Smiling

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One potential problem with

One potential problem with the web is that it has created it's own culture (cultures?), with different values than any random person in the street is likely to have. In some areas, especially "ownership" of information, "real life culture" is shifting away from the core values of the web culture I feel part of. It sometimes leads to debates that end with both sides concluding the other is a total idiot who will starve / give up his freedom for nothing.

That polarization isn't good, it may change the web into a real trap. If we as a group get more disconnected from the rest of the world, our members may find themselves "trapped" behind their computers.

I think we need to work harder to make our values mainstream. The best way to do that is to show examples. Less debate, more copylefted art and Free software.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 16 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
For me, the web isn't a

For me, the web isn't a replacement for reality, it truly is an extension of it.

I'm, by nature and conditioning, anti-social. This doesn't mean I exactly hate people, but I do hate the rules society imposes. The notions of what is rude and what is not, even when these things don't truly effect other people, is something I've never understood. I really do think in terms of "effeciency" and being "polite" is not often effecient - having to put up with it is so straining that I choose not to do it. All too often in meatspace being "effecient" is equal to being rude.

On the other hand, the internet allows people to frankly cut through the crap. You're not judged by how you dress (a social pressure!) or your level of education (a social pressure) or how big/cute/luxurious your car/house is (another social pressure!). Instead, if you bring a rational thought to the table, you're respected. Bring forth stupidity (aka Trolling) and you're shunned instantly.

Some people blame this on "the anonymity of the internet" but I don't agree, I think it's less the anonymity but the culture that doesn't cater to the same social norms... After all, not everyone on the internet hides behind a screen name.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
I think most of the

I think most of the existence of trolls can be blamed on the possibility of anonimity, though. Another factor is distance, there is no need to be afraid of what someone will think of you if they live on the other side of the planet.

I THINK SOCIAL RULES DO EXIST ON THE WEB ROFLWTFBBQ!!!11!!!1! FOR ;>D EXAMPLE THIS EXAMPLE PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE CONTAINS A FEW EXAMPLE EXAMPLES OF EXAMPLE :-)))) THINGS xD THAT WILL MAKE EXAMPLE PEOPLE Sticking out tongue STOP TAKING YOU EXAMPLE SRSLY :S LOLOLOLOL

CAN I HAS FIXD CAPSLOK KEE PLZ?

memenode's picture
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The last sentence is a

The last sentence is a sentiment I often carry. More music, less talk! Smiling

Well.. talk is good though if it isn't empty and leads to further enlightenment. And we have just enough of debating on this site for it not to turn ugly or meaningless, I suppose.

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memenode's picture
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You said it well about

You said it well about different culture which doesn't cater to the same social norms. And the reason for that is simply because the "socializing" is different as it hides what in reality we usually see and happens to focus more on the inner values than the outer values (such as appearance). It's a network of minds rather than network of bodies and minds together. Your physical body doesn't matter as long as it can look at the screen and type. Smiling

Ideally, internet should be an extension of reality for everyone, not a replacement although some elements it can replace I suppose or in some cases it can help fix your real life too! Besides the obvious benefit of all the available information, including information on real life issues, there are, for example, dating sites which connected many couples already hence solving their real love life. Smiling

Cheers

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memenode's picture
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Haha nice post. It might

Haha nice post. Smiling

It might not be just the distance though as much as control of your own space. You could be talking to a neighbor next door without actually being aware of it, but even if you were aware you probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable (maybe a little) about what you're saying because you still control your personal space and the comfort of it. There is no intrusion and you decide what comes out and what doesn't.

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