Tag Archives: internet

Happiness is…a Colon and a Right Parenthesis

h3y wutz good 4 2nite?

Although that sentence should read as a strange compilation of letters and numbers, most Internet users will interpret that sentence as “hey, what’s good for tonight”, which can translate even farther to, “Hey, what are we doing tonight?” Somewhere along the line, it become hideously uncool to utilize proper grammar and spelling on the web; a user was categorized as a “nerd” for simply asking about plans in a grammatically correct fashion.

In an article that I tweeted called “I think, Therefore IM” by Jennifer Lee, it is reported that teachers have seen an increasing amount of students using slang such as “im” “ur” and “wut” in academic works. For many students, using Internet slang has become a lot more comfortable than using proper English. In many cases, such as “wuz” and “was”, the slang is the same length as the proper word; students are not replacing proper words with slang due to convenience. The 2000s generation, students who are now 12-17, grew up on the Internet. While many generations are struggling to accustom themselves with the Internet, the 2000s generation only knows life with a power button. In the article, a teacher named Ms. Harding comments, ”It’s acceptable because it’s in their culture. It’s hard enough to teach them the art of formal writing. Now we’ve got to overcome this new instant-messaging language.” Ms. Harding acknowledges the struggle many students have today with balancing comfort with properness. Students are constantly surrounded by text- speak but are expected to forget all about the language as soon as the first school bell rings.

Not only are students becoming more and more reliant on text-speak, but our entire culture is becoming screen dominant. In an article called “Becoming Screen Literate” by Kevin Kelly, Kelly explains the shift our culture is experiencing. He comments on our culture’s shift, “from book fluency to screen fluency, from literacy to visuality.” While books and libraries were once the future, it has slowly morphed into the past. The future is now and it is a world in which screens take over. The extreme want for visuals coincides with the newest obsession of “fast and easy.”

Just like fast food restaurants, literacy has become a matter of culture and popularity. Vegetables are to hamburgers as textbooks are to internet slang. The world is constantly evolving for both better and worse. While some Internet users are still struggling to turn a computer on, others are struggling to turn it off. At this point, it is all about perspective. While schools have started incorporating technology into the curriculum, it is about time schools go a step further and acknowledge the world that is the Internet.  Each generation offers something new, as a culture we must embrace all the new features in order to broaden perspectives and enhance creativity.

Advertisements

The Six Seconds Heard from Around the World

Vine is a phenomenon that is both fast and funny, two characteristics that our culture has grown to become extremely fond of.

If you have not yet experienced the whirlwind that is Vine, let me expose it to you: click here for 6 seconds of entertainment

vine

See? Wasn’t that fun? It was fast so you can get back to your hectic life and it also produced a little chuckle. You’re not the only one who thinks it was fun; an article called “Six Seconds of Loopy Creativity and Millions of Fans” by the New York Times praises Vine and comments on how it is taking over the public’s feeds. Instead of going to Instagram or Twitter, users are choosing Vine for a multitude of reasons. First of all, Vine combines YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter in a more user-friendly way. Instead of watching a 5 minute video on YouTube, users are getting the punchline 10x faster. Instead of sifting through tweets, users are getting the main idea immediately. Instead of seeing a picture, users are experiencing the action.

The article by the New York Times describes Vine as “the early web- low stakes, raw, and full of reckless abandon”  and the author is exactly right. Vine users will complete any task, no matter how ridiculous, in order to entertain viewers. In fact, the phrase “do it for the Vine” has become popular due to the Vine’s infamous actions.

Vine is just an example of how apps are in competition to gain titles such as craziest, most creative, or wildest. Notice, however, that has been a competition amongst apps. The Web, on the other hand, is slowly losing its following. It is a common mistake for users to believe spending hours on Vine, Instagram, or Pandora is considered “surfing the Web”; in an article I tweeted called “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet” by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, the authors describe how Apps not only differentiate from the Web, but they are also are taking over. Although the switch from Web to Internet is not conscious or aggressive, it is surely happening. It’s not the Web’s fault, apps are just becoming more and more prominent in today’s society.

I mean, look at the difference between using Google and using Instagram:

Google_web_searchbeyonce-pepsi

In a world where apps such as Vine literally thrive off fun and entertainment, Google.com simply can’t compete.

Unachievable Achievements: The Problem with Living a Virtual Life

It is now possible to become a virtual ghost; an Internet user can write any comment without taking any responsibility.

anonymous_browsing

Invisibility and anonymity are becoming extremely sought after by users for various reasons. While some people are paranoid about being on the Internet, others are hiding behind anonymity in order to experiment with unfamiliar feelings.

In an article called “How to Anonymize Everything You Do Online” by Andy Greenburg, which I found through a tweet by Alexis Lane,  Greenburg writes about a new software that will essentially disconnect people from users. A seemingly normal person can go online and reinvente themselves without a trace. Anonymity on the Internet causes a fake sense of power; in a way, there is too much space for negative creativity  While being creative is normally applauded, in this situation, it is truly dangerous. People are creating new lives for themselves, and exploring themes that have been repressed due to fear of judgement.People are taking shots of Internet courage in order to let go of all inhibitions; users are becoming drunk off anonymity.

While anonymity is becoming more popular on the Internet, it has existed in video games for decades. Video game players have the controller, but in reality, they are the ones being controlled. Video games are designed for addiction, to frustrate the player just enough to motivate them. It is also designed to inflate egos and make the player feel as though they are invincible. Just like Internet users creating a new life for themselves, video game players are fictitiously decorating their lives.

In a Ted Talk called “Are Games Better Than Life“, David Perry talks about his addiction to video games. He comments that “alternate existence is [his] virtual reality” and that video games have ruined his “understanding of what is real and what is not”. Video games mean so much more to Perry, and many other video game players, because it creates room for achievement. When a player continuously unlocks levels or earns achievement points, they start to think that they can achieve in real life as well. Except, are players actually achieving achievement points? All the effort, skill, and encouragement are being used virtually, and should only count virtually.

The Internet and video games could be used for pleasure, but it is starting to become a truly dangerous place. The lines of reality are seriously becoming blurred; it does not help that program designers are lacing them with more anonymity and more action. Users are becoming addicted to something that does not exist. So, next time you play a game and your 6′ 5″ muscle God of a character unlocks a new achievement, know that the achievement turns off the second your console does.