Sunday 11 December 2016

The Machine is Us/ing Us

It’s probably happening right now as you sit at your computer. Chances are you’ve opened multiple tabs, various web pages, a video or two, RSS feeds, alerts and more. Aside from bringing new meaning to multitasking, the online world of mixable, mashable content is profoundly changing our behaviour, from the way we construct sentences, to the way we process information and interact with others.

It could even be changing the way we think.

A new book from Nicholas Carr explores this idea, suggesting that the net encourages the rapid, nonlinear collection and processing of many small bits of information from many sources. It’s called “The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing To Our Brains”.

But if this read seems too stale (or linear), here’s an alternative: all the way from Kansas State University comes this great video from Dr. Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography, which shows how technological advancements are changing human behaviour at the most fundamental levels.

A bite-sized bit for a fickle online audience!

Funny thing is, this is nothing new. Technological advancements have long altered human behaviour. Consider the way communication has changed thanks to the items on your desk (or more likely, desktop).

Alison Dunn