Thursday, February 18, 2010

Physical and Cyberspace Environments

Thoughts on Chapter 1, By Gumpert and Drucker.

It is without a doubt that cyberspace has been one of the most significant elements in the lives of many people today. The number of people who have been using such technology during the last decade can show the occurrence of its power. I find it especially helpful in many of life’s aspects, but at the same time I also consider how it can radically change various things both in a positive and negative way. Among the many aspects that are profoundly changed by cyberspace is communication due to the presence of electronic mail, mailing forums, real-time chatting and interactive games. Due to these extended forms of communication over cyberspace, many users are able to socialize, and in the long run develop relationships with other individuals. Unlike before when communication can only be done over the phone, face-to-face and the snail mail, the presence of cyberspace facilitates communication in a manner that is totally different from that of the traditional communication means it is not bounded by proximity and allows communication between two persons without the need of a face-to-face contact, and even allow simultaneous communication among groups of individuals regardless of geographic location. Because of this environment created by cyberspace, it is easier for shy individuals to express themselves online. There is less anxiety than there might be in a face-to-face situation. Nonetheless, physical attractiveness becomes less important as well.
Aside from that, what I find ironic though, is the fact that it brings people together who would otherwise never associate themselves with each other. I consider cyberspace, in one way or another, a great equalizer. To understand my point, take for instance a High school student and a college professor who are both using cyberspace. Without even knowing it, the high school student can correspond to that college professor on an equal footing. The same thing goes with mental health professionals and other individuals who can interact in cyberspace even with some of the most prominent people in such fields.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is an egalitarian medium, within limits, and a frequent theme in the literature has been its democratizing tendencies.