Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blog 6: Are Social Networks Intimate?

After reading the first part of Phase 2 in "A History of the Internet and the Digital Future" I was most interested in chapter 6 where Ryan talked about the relationships we develop through the internet and the "intimacy" of them. One part that really stood out to me was when he talked about the telephone and that without that connection at the other end of the phone it is more useless than a child's toy. What makes the phone useful is the connections you can make with it and the millions of other options for connections you can make as well (Ryan, p. 84). These networks allows us to make connections with each other and help develop the internet through every connection we make. Ryan also talks about the predictions that were made about how technology will affect the way we communicate and if you ask me he was correct. The way we communicate through technology is very different than face to face. There is no way to introduce tone or inflections into the words that you type on the screen. I think it is interesting that my generation feels so comfortable communicating through these technologies where my parents generation does not. It almost feels like there is unspoken rules and etiquette that my friends and people I talk to know and sometimes my parents won't know those unwritten rules. I'm sure you can write about these rules all you want, but it's through practice and experience that you really gain this knowledge.
Some more interesting topics that Ryan covered in Phase II talked about the difficulties that businesses and cooperations had with incorporating new technologies and transferring everything over to a digital age. Also, in Phase II Ryan talked about the impact that the Internet had on our spending and the way that we shop. If you agree with Ryan that the Internet affected our social behaviors, than this will really drive this point home. Shopping and going to markets used to be considered like a social putting and now for all practical purposes you never have to leave your house because everything could be delivered to you.

After reading these Phase II my questions for class discussion are:
1. Would Ryan consider it a bad thing about how we communicate now through the Internet. The data is out there that our communication has changed, but is that a bad thing or just different?
2. My topic for the upcoming project is Social Networks. What is the most important Social Network? How was it developed and what makes it better than the rest?

Ryan, J. (2010). A history of the internet and the digital future. London, UK: Reaktion Books. [Phase 2: 5, 6, & 7]

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