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This week, and this term, we’ve read articles and examined how the Internet brings us together. The web and digital medium seem to have a binary effect: either they create a community of people with similar interests removing obstacles that would otherwise keep them apart, like physical distance. This creation due to the web has permitted people to further explore their interests and potentially removes a specific feeling of isolation that they might face in their real lives. On the other hand, there’s an objectification of the individual in the digital. Things like the architecture of Facebook created through an algorithm, as Bucher points out, or big data, focusing on the repetition and prediction of habits of collective groups of people, have a polarizing effect.
This collection of actions, opposed to individual people and their qualities, have created something beyond Deleuzan modules and beyond the creation of the dividual. There’s an outcry by users to have a voice in a digital sea, a want to break this dividual understanding of identity in new digital media. From protests to “exposing” ourselves on blogs and in video, we hope to be heard and noticed, which can be confirmed by likes and comments. As time continues and our live become more aligned with the virtual world and digital mediums, we discover more about their architectures and how to hack, shift and expose their structures.
As individuals, we’ve learned to attempt to vocalize and depict our individuality and specific experiences, thoughts, and hopes in these new digital mediums. In this sense, the internet and the digital are heterotopic, offering millions of potential ideas and experience to manifest into virtual reality, but now they’ve evolved beyond being trapped in this realm. YouTube stars (like TV and movie star) now meet and have conferences; fashion bloggers now hold more sway than some members of fashion houses, being invited to sit front row in shows and donning magazine covers; and members of the greater community, like Snowden, are exposing their knowledge of surveillance’s capabilities to the world, resulting in real life discourse and ramifications. The digital and virtual now have physical implications; these two world once separated by lacking a major sense (that of touch) and confined to a smaller screen, now are becoming normalized and regarded as real life.