I was planning on writing about “invisible technology”, but then got engrossed in another topic in Chapter 4. Shirky talk about with the rise of Web2.0 there is less of a distinction between “communication” and “broadcast media”. Broadcast meaning: one message going out through one channel to the masses—think television, radio. Communication media implied a two way conversation one-on-one. (Phone calls, fax, email.). New technology, blogging & tweeting now allows a “many-to-many” communication. One broadcast can go out over many channels to many people. I was struck by Shirky’s comment on personal blogs being akin to the “privacy of the mall.” In a dense social place we overhear a lot of talk without assuming the conversations involve us personally. Many “digital immigrants” have a difficult time filtering out the digital chatter of blogs. Paraphrasing Shirky “if something is out there where we can find it, it must have been written for us!”. I think “digital natives” do not have the same ideas of “the public sphere” and assume, “I am only talking to my friends—nobody is going to pay attention”. My teenage niece friended me on facebook, and yet seems genuinely shocked—shocked! when I comment on something she posted.
This led to my “aha moment”. I was ruminating on something a classmate had written, saying she would feel sad if her last communication with a departed loved one had been a comment on a facebook post. Musing about the nature of communication, what counts, when it counts. What I had originally wrote is beyond the scope of the class, but gave me much food for thought. Nom. Nom. Nom.