So my life has been very difficult in the past few weeks and I hate the reason why.
I HAVE NO INTERNET AT HOME.
One, it’s caused my phone bill to rise to ridiculous figures (which is painful enough as it is). But secondly, it is so hard to conduct anything without internet (including writing blog posts for this course). We as a society and especially in my generation have become so dependent on the internet it is hard to function in day to day life without it.
I can’t get my shifts from work. I can’t contact my mother who is overseas. I can’t book my tickets on the Spirit of Tasmania for my holidays. I can’t submit an essay for university. I can’t see that event I was invited to on Facebook. I can’t email that tutor about a missed tutorial. I can’t access that cake recipe that I was going to make for my friend’s birthday.
These things all seemed so simple before but now without internet I realise how much I actually used it and how dependent I am upon it.
I just wanted to make a note of something I particularly agreed with from the Symposium – that as much as networks exist online and it is important to be a part of these. I think it can be easily forgotten that networks in the physical world are also very important. Face-to-face contact is a great thing about being alive and I just don’t believe in living from behind a computer screen without experiencing everything the physical world has to offer as well.
I have 602 friends on Facebook. Do I talk to them all on a regular basis? No. So why do I keep them there? For me, I like the security of having these people I am able to contact for particular things if need be and it’s nice as a history of who you have met over time. These relationships or simply this network is very different to the one I have in my (physical) world. The people I spend my time with or talk to regularly I have no connection or contact with them on Facebook or online in general because it isn’t necessary and it definitely is a different relationship between the two platforms.
I do connect with multiple networks online, Facebook was just an example, but I also have LinkedIn and my email as well as other creative paths such as polyvore, pinterest, sound cloud etc. All my connections on these are very different as well and they are different ways of communicating with these people in various areas of my life.
Just me trying to keep up with these trends online! The next thing infiltrating my news feed this week is people posting a selfie with a line about preventing depression and suicide awareness. This is fair enough and certainly a topic that people should be aware of.
For me, I just don’t understand the need for people to publicise their personal affairs on Facebook, just because you don’t choose to post it doesn’t mean you are ashamed of being a patient of depression. It’s one of these things about the internet and social networking that still baffles me.
Check out this hashtag trend for #stopsadshaming and see what you think about these posts.
Depression is a major issue in society and there are many great things that provide support, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning the cause but just the way of people expressing their support of it.
In this weeks Culture and Technology reading the bit that sparked questioning I’ve always had in regard to the internet is the idea of government regulation. This may be (and probably is) due to my ignorance of the internet in general but I’ve never understood how the internet can be controlled and regulated by governments. Obviously North Korea and China to a certain extent (and I’m assuming every other country) put controls on what can be seen online and certain websites that can and can’t be accessed, although I can’t work out how they do this.
I also get ridiculously confused over how law is enforced online, especially considering it involves many countries and that I am aware of, there is no international governing body beyond the UN and especially nothing that is controlling the internet.
I just wonder if there are all these mechanisms that I’m oblivious to working behind the scenes or the internet is really as open as it feels.
I vaguely remember my year 9 teacher saying that she got blocked from certain sites or her email turned off or something (my memory is obviously failing me with the details here) because she had so many google searches and emails coming in with the word ‘terrorism’ – because she was teaching a course on terrorism and then her account got disabled for a certain period of time. Therefore, there must be something, right?
I just wanted to emphasise Betty’s point in the symposium that networked media and digital media are two very different things. I feel like this has provided me with some sort of clarity for the entire course.
This point seemed to be overlooked until that moment. We’re talking about networking online and I think that it has been confused that networked media is the same as digital media and the terms get used interchangeably.
Digital media is not necessarily networked and networked media is not always digital.