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In response to “aloneness,” I believe that––from what I can tell––this course so far has demonstrated that digital media is moving towards deeper and deeper realism, which could ultimately manifest in a matrix-like world in which simulated reality becomes impossible to distinguish from ‘true’ reality.

I think that the way in which the idea of being ‘alone’ has changed, as you mention in your post, is the first sign of this.  Our social media profiles and electronics that we use to communicate through them have become extensions of ourselves; video-conferencing apps such as FaceTime cut through endless space to create a realistic feeling of intimacy.  McQuire’s idea of a virtual connection is one that people feel both in public and private.  And so long as people are content with feeling digital stimulation in favor of looking up from their phones, it isn’t going to change any time soon.  As this becomes the new normal, I believe that concerns about a physical divide between people will begin to wane, as we come to understand that digital media has progressed in such a way as to blur lines between what counts as ‘real’ (I.E. Physical), and what does not.

The same goes for virtual and real space.  Manovich talks primarily about actual, simulated depictions of space, but consider the internet itself as a form of space that can be navigated in seemingly infinite directions.  At what point do we come to acknowledge the fact that we exist in virtual reality just as much as we exist in the physical world?