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(I apologize for the lateness)

The interaction between the woman and the blender that we examined in class was very interesting and marks a turning point in the way we interact with new media and technology. Not only can we program and direct technology, but not we can speak with technology in either their language or ours. The emergence of “smart” technology is impressive and scary. And not only will it change the ways in which people interact with media, but it will also shift the methods through which we communicate with each other. Think about the concept of flash mobs, where an unknown force enlists the help of total strangers to carry out a certain act or task, and then once the ‘mission’ is over, the participants go on with their lives as if nothing happened; there is no real interpersonal interaction between them. Only the individual and the objective matter, everything else is practically irrelevant. We can even think of flash mobs in terms of the panopticon: where there is a shadowy force that observes participants, but they never can tell if or when that force is watching. And now I am questioning whether or not the panoptic style of human interaction is becoming more or less prevalent. Even when communicating with friends via Facebook, there is a both virtual and physical space separating the two of you, and the only connection available is through a screen. In a way, your friend acts as the shadowy tower that may or may not be observing you. And so I wonder whether or not we could apply that panoptic logic to other modes of interaction and communication in modern society. Also, is this mode of interaction really new? Could we say the same thing about telephones? Why or why not? Is there something completely different about having screens that makes the conversation more important or seemingly personal?

Going back to what Professor Chun mentioned in class about assemblages, I think that perhaps we are losing our connections with our friends, and bonding more with the technology that connects us to our friends. The technological is becoming the personal. When someone takes my phone away, I get upset. Why? It’s just some random piece of machinery. And yet, partially it feels like part of my identity because it has so much information about me and the people I know. Now would I cry over the loss of a cell phone? No. But there is a certain attachment that I and other people have to our technology because it has the illusion of being personal.