Friday, March 4, 2011

Here are some links from the social media segment. There are lots of interesting ideas going on here. Let us know what you think!

Are we all Cyborgs?

Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

Social media and Slacktivism.
Matthew Ingram
As Facebook and Twitter have come to play a larger role in getting the word out about issues such as unrest in Egypt, much of what is done using these social tools — particularly by younger users — has been criticized as “slacktivism.” In other words, it is seen as just empty gestures such as changing an avatar or posting a status update, rather than real activism around social issues. But a new study from the University of California has found that younger Internet users become more socially engaged in the real world, not just online

Egypt and the utilization of social media
Sam Taute
Here are some of their thoughts on what makes social media such a powerful, unpredictable force in global politics:
  • It replaces the need for a charismatic leader. A cause no longer needs a  champion to attract followers. Certainly, there were a number of noble and courageous protesters (and some not so noble, unfortunately), but there was no single face attached to this revolution. Social media has created the possibility of what Ben Scott calls an “aggregate leader,” where the responsibility of advancing a movement can be dispersed.

The cyborg nature of videogaming.
Jim Rossignol:
Videogames are the reason I could be considered a cyborg. Not in the sense that I have had parts of my physical body taken over by electronic or mechanical systems, but in the sense that I often have had my imagination taken over by electronic and mechanical systems. Gaming, particularly electronic gaming, often imbues me with some of the most essential properties of a cyborg.

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