Some time ago, I was trying to think about the structural effects of the digital age.
What happens to our sense of self, I wondered, now that we have access to new media and new networks?
I came to the conclusion that selves were becoming “cloudy.”
The world rewarded me with a stoney silence.
No one, apparently, was prepared to buy the idea.
Fair enough. You win some, you lose some. I bow to the world’s judgment.
But today I came upon J. Andrew Hickey’s post entitled The Information Generation.
I was immediately taken by this remark:
Then again, maybe I am too “connected”. Half of my daydreaming is spent in my head, the other half online. To an outsider – typically someone over forty – it must look strange. Blue links highlighted. Flashing windows. Twenty tabs open. Music playing. Headphones on. Lukewarm coffee on desk. Occasionally, I feel less like a person, and more like an amoeba that feeds on tweets, notifications, and followers.
Fair enough. Not a “cloud” then, but an “amoeba.” What matters is some way to capture the new distributedness, porousness and malleableness of the self.
For more of Hickey’s very thoughtful contemplation of what it’s like to live in a digital age, CLICK HERE.
The magnificent image is called Radio Silence. It’s made by Tatiana Plakhova.
For my thoughts on the “cloudy self,” CLICK HERE.