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In computer news this week 05/30 /2012
Book Review - Digital Vertigo
Andrew Keen is a British-American technology writer who writes books about the Internet. His previous book was The Cult of the Amateur, which I have reviewed on Raw Bytes previously.
The theme was that the internet threatens our values, our economy, and our American way of life, with its blurring, obfuscation, and even disappearance of truth.
In his new book “Digital Vertigo” he takes on social networks and networking. He starts off with a definition of the term HYPERVISIBILITY - We would have lived our lives differently if we had known one day they would be searchable.
And of course with the concept of social networking – your life will be completely searchable from womb to tomb.
I realize this as I have created a youtube site of videos of my Grandchildren primarily for family and friends to view, but I realize this makes their lives also searchable from birth.
Keens states: I was in a place called social media - Facebook, Twitter, Google +, that permanent self- exhibition zone of our new digital age where, via my BlackBerry Bold and the other more than 5 billion devices now in our hands, we are collectively publishing mankind’s group portrait in motion.
Rather than a virtual or second life, social media is actually becoming life itself— the central and increasingly transparent stage of human existence, what Silicon Valley venture capitalists are now calling an “internet of people.”
He likens Facebook Social Networking to the hippie Peace and love movement of the 1960’s, Social Networking as the new electronic online Hippie Commune, where everyone shares everything and everything about themselves.
“Social media is the confessional novel that we are not only all writing but also collectively publishing for everyone else to read.”
As we all think back to our high school and college days, our first introduction to mass sociality, everyone wants to be popular. And many people pursue this and have hundreds of friends and contacts online.
But over the years as we get older, perhaps we all realize that true friends are few and hard to find, and it’s nice to spend meaningful time with a few good friends, rather than shallow social time with a lot of acquaintances. We seek privacy and quiet and solitude, and have grown out of the wild college beer bashes.
Keen points out that you can be trapped in social networking, until you have no privacy or life of your own.
Social networking is where you go to reveal everything about yourselves, But What If There Are No Secrets?
Keen argues that the social media transformation is weakening, disorienting and dividing us rather than establishing the dawn of a new egalitarian and communal age. The tragic paradox of life in the social media age is the incompatibility between our internet longings for community and friendship and our equally powerful desire for online individual freedom.
By exposing the shallow core of social networks, Keen shows us that the more electronically connected we become, the lonelier and less powerful we seem to be.
Digital Vertigo by Andrew Keen, a thought provoking insight into the downside of social networking, available online at Amazon and in brick&mortar bookstores.
For Raw Bytes
This is Frank Delaney
(C) 2012 MTA Micro Technology Associates