Skip navigation

We speak about the Internet, about the digital media, as (among other things) a network for connection. In considering the term post-digital, we recognize its ubiquitous influence and recognize an online presence as the norm. It may seem that way to us these days. It seems impossible to understand a world where you couldn’t immediately share a thought, a picture, an article with people outside of your immediate surroundings, or one where marketing an event could not be done by simply creating a Facebook page for it (which would automatically send reminders to all ‘attending’). This week’s reading on the post-modern, combined with my reconsideration of Kirschenbaum’s account of screen essentialism for our second assignment, reminded me that in fact our world, our whole world, does not operate like that.

4.4Billion people around the world still don’t have internet. How does the seeming ubiquity of the internet in the developed world and, particularly, in urban centres, serve to distance these populations from those communities that don’t have internet access?

Facebook and Google have launched projects to bring internet access everywhere. How will this change our virtual and real communities? Does this represent a new kind of corporate colonial project?

Should we be trying to get everyone online? It seems to me that, as Prof. Chun mentioned in our last lecture, while there are definite benefits to having internet access, we can’t expect technology to solve our political problems. These efforts, by Facebook and Google, to get everyone online might then be considered projects of market expansion and not a project to disseminate something of obvious value.