The most interesting topic of this module, and what has made me stop and think the most is the idea behind our separate online and real lives. Do our real lives exist without our online persona’s or are they two separate parts of our personalties which exist independently, and if so, how far removed are they from each other?
The idea links in well with theories of convergence also, its interesting to see as we become more connected to our devices, apps, social networks and ultimately each other, if we become more and more detached from our ‘real’ lives. Baudrillard wrote a theory about this called ‘simulation and simulacra’ which can be used to support many topics in this module.
Another interesting question that stems from this idea is if our friendships with each other are becoming wider spreading, but shallower than relationships and friendships in the past. Dating apps, instant messaging and social media have made keeping in contact with people so much easier, but at the same time communication between individuals could seem more trivialised or ‘gamified’. This could be seen as capitalist ideas taking control of the way that we communicate, commoditizing relationships, making human emotion more efficient and time manageable. This is a feature of the network society that could be potentially damaging to the fundamental principles of society as it destabilise what is real and meaningful to collective populations.
These ‘distractions’ detach our conscience, rationalisation and empathy for other people through desensitisation. By removing the human aspect of communication, I think it is clear to see that society will become less willing to help each other, more selfish, more determined to ignore the real challenges in the world and in my eyes may contribute to the world becoming a less enjoyable place to live. Think about the refugee crisis and ask yourself if this is not already a reality.