Even in contemporary society you are labelled as disadvantaged if you are unable to communicate with the masses. Computer Mediated Communication is set to become the defining factor between the ‘Have’ and ‘Have Nots’. At the moment is you are not online you are not a member of the information superhighway. If you are not wired you are not involved. As more and more media begin to turn to the electronic forum many communication traditionalists are finding it hard to find a sense of place within the changing cultural standards. However, it is important to investigate the root of the superhighways phenomenal advantage.Order now
Is the Internet progression manipulated or are you truly disadvantaged if you are not inline with the new codes of conduct in an increasingly electronic culture? After all as a society we have traditionally learned about new technologies and innovations from the more conventional communications media21. Culture is not yet at the advanced development that one would think. Individuals rely heavily on instinctual aspects of communication development. You do not instinctively turn to the Internet to find out what is on television. The tendency is still to turn to newspapers and the television magazines.
It is on reviewing this information that you may turn on you television and see a commercial or programme that has provided further information at their website. It is only at this stage that the ‘Have Nots’ may feel disadvantaged as they may be lacking access to home computing. What has become clear is that society has become more involved with cultural change. Rather than change happening and the individual trying to catch up, it would seem that change is being provoked by the masses and access to new forms of communication is becoming a national agenda.
As the Internet becomes more and more mainstream the ‘Have Nots’ within western society are demanding the access to the media involved with being wired. Home computing is becoming cheaper and with cable and satellite hopping on the interactive bandwagon the line between the information elite and the masses is slowly being erased. However, it is not just having access that invokes knowledge. Society and Culture are slowly pandering to the easy answer to the complexity of computer mediated communication22. The plug in and surf motto of many mainstream computer companies is a message that is as much misleading, as it is misguided.
What Internet Culture is heading for is questionable. If the majority of individuals do not understand the common language of communication we will be heading for a ‘Big Brother’ type scenario were we are at the mercy of the computer programmers who understand the essence of computer programming languages. The future of the information superhighway and Internet Culture should not be based on ease of its use, it should be fundamentally based on thorough understanding, but at this point this concept is not being incited. Howard Rheingold makes this notion a cultural incentive by suggesting:
We need a clear citizens’ vision of the way the Net ought to grow, a firm idea of the kind of media environment we would like to see in the future. If we do not develop such a vision for ourselves, the future will be shaped for us by large commercial and political power holders. 23 Whether or not the future of Internet Culture will be flourishing is inconsequential, however, the question of whether or not the Internet will be public or private is still being decided. Perhaps, what is more important to critically review is the question of whether or not the notion of power and control has already been answered for us, rather than by us.
Bibliography Tapscott, Don Growing up Digital, the Rise of the Net Generation, McGraw Hill, 1998 Rheingold, Howard The Electronic Version of the Virtual Community, www. rhiengold. com/vc/book Turkle, Sherri Virtuality and its Discontents Searching for Community in Cyberspace www. prospect. org Turkle, Sherri Who Am We? , Wired Archive 4. 01 – January 1996/Features www. wired. com/wired/archive/4. 01/turkle Zwingle, Erla National Geographic, Global Culture, August 1999, Volume 196, No. 2 Ong, Walter Orality and Literacy, The Technologizing of the World Routledge, 1982
Crowley ; Mitchell Communication Theory Today Polity Press, 1994 Porter, David Internet Culture Routledge, 1997 Slayden et al Soundbite Culture the Death of Discourse in a Wired World Sage, 1999 Jackson, Peter National Geographic, Global Culture, August 1999 Volume 196 No. 2 Williams, Raymond Keywords, A Vocabulary of Culture and Society Fontana Press, 1976 Anderson, Benedict Imagined Communities Verso Books, 1991 1 Jackson, Peter – National Geographic, Global Culture, August 1999, Volume 196 No. 2 2 Williams, Raymond – Keywords, A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Fontana Press, 1976
3 Williams, Raymond – Keywords, A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Fontana Press, 1976 4 Slayden et al – Soundbite Culture, the Death of Discourse in a Wired World, Sage, 1999 5 Oral Culture was temporally biased as it favoured time, physical and social stability and oral communication. 6 Ong, Walter – Orality and Literacy, The Technologizing of the World, Routledge, 1982 7 Crowley ; Mitchell – Communication Theory Today, Polity Press, 1994 8 Ong, Walter – Orality and Literacy, The Technologizing of the World, Routledge, 1982
9 By this I am referring to the Internet and the ability that it has to converge most aspects of traditional communication that include; speech, print, visual images and more recently voice interactive communication. Prior to the Internet we had individual media that allowed individuals to do certain tasks, but not all and not entirely interactively. 10 Porter, David – Internet Culture, Routledge, 1997 11 Zwingle, Erla – National Geographic, Global Culture.
August 1999, Volume 196, No. 2 12 Turkle, Sherri – Virtuality and its Discontents: Searching for Community in Cyberspace, www.prospect. org/cgi-bin/printable. cgi 13 I say essential as a majority of people would not be able to function properly without a television, a computer and a wealth of electronic gizmos that they assume make their lives easier, and I do not mean it literally. 14 Rheingold, Howard – The Electronic Version of the Virtual Community, www. rhiengold. com/vc/book 15 Surely there must be some repercussions associated with the new -found fluidity of the virtual world and the real world? Where do you draw the line between the real and the virtual?
These are all questions that need to be reviewed, as I cannot imagine that the ability to have multiple identities is congruent with a healthy existence. 16 Turkle, Sherri – Who Am We? Wired Archive 4. 01 – January 1996/Features, www. wired. com/wired/archive/4. 01/turkle 17 Turkle, Sherri – Virtuality and its Discontents, searching for Community in Cyberspace, www. prospect. org 18 Rheingold, Howard – The Electronic Version of the Virtual Community, www. rhiengold. com/vc/book 19 Anderson, Benedict – Imagined Communities, Verso Books, 1991 20 With this I am suggesting that individuals who could not read were subjugated.
The elite were the individuals who were educated and subsequently acquired knowledge. Power struggles between the elite and the less fortunate have been historically documented. However the one thing that defines the struggle to achieve power is the mode of communication that is being adopted and configured. 21 Rheingold, Howard – The Electronic Version of the Virtual Community, www. rhiengold. com/vc/book 22 Tapscott, Don – Growing up Digital, the Rise of the Net Generation, McGraw Hill, 1998 23 Rheingold, Howard – The Electronic Version of the Virtual Community, www. rhiengold. com/vc/book.