Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Embodied Computer/User-Lupton

In class today, we discussed the article written by Lupton that questioned the relationship we share with our personal computers. She makes the point that people now a days have an emotional relationship or love affair with their computer. Reflecting this on my own life, it is hard to imagine going about my daily routine without any interaction with my personal computer. I think our PC can be interpreted as our smart phones, ipads, tablets, laptops now a days. We discussed how back in the 90s, right when the PC was popular you would have a desktop that you would go to or you would use them in a lab or library. Today, the computer goes with us instead of us going to it. Growing up the computer was always a privilege or an educational tool. I would play computer games-educational and recreational. Today, I use my phone to stay connected with all my friends via text and through all the social media apps. My iphone tells me the weather, works as a GPS and lets me do online shopping. We were able to make a connection as a class to the McCluan reading referring to the medium serving as the message. How it transforms us mentally and physically and lets the iphone become an "extension" of our hand. Lupton states that it blurs the boundaries between the embodied self and the PC. The question was asked if we "cut off fragments of ourselves" into the social media sites we invest in such as Facebook or Twitter. I believe that you can in a sense loose yourself in the social media world because it can never be as pure as knowing someone in person. You can be anything you want to be online and that can have its pros and cons. We watched clips of Lawn mower man that showed the idea of becoming a "cyborg". I think that we live in the same world, just in different circumstances than before, while others in the class stated that we live in a new world or the same world with an extra demension-6th (cyber world). I also found it interesting on how Lupton make a point that despite our dependency, many people who use their PC everyday have very little knowledge on how it works. I think that it is important for us to have an understanding on how our smartphone, laptop or Google search engine works so we can trust and be aware of any biases. For example, the Google search engine works in way that once you search something, it pulls up what is the most popular-it is dependent on others interests which can create a bias. Google becomes a part of the culture industry.

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