Week 6 – Volker: Mobile media and Space

Volker states in his opening paragraph that “it has become inadequate to continue considering digital space as synonymous with virtual space and opposed to and threatening real space, meaning reality as such”. This I believe is a very valid and spot on point.

If we think about the concept of “space”, several things come to mind. The first thought is that of physical space, or reality. Physical space is something that has a direct impact on your life; it, in my opinion, is you past, present and future. It is the concept of space that can cause physical harm, happiness and countless other human emotions. Before the 1970’s this was really the only concept of space that existed. Virtual Space was really only a figurative concept and really could only be counted as mental “space” or thought; a space where very little harm could be done.

This all changed “in the late 1970’s the world wide web was created”, as the concept of virtual space changed with it. Currently virtual space and physical space are no longer separated, instead virtual spaces stem from one’s reality and their experiences in physical space.  Take Facebook or MySpace as an example; technically they are both “virtual spaces” as they again “technically” SHOULD NOT interfere with our everyday lives. (Please take emphasis on the should not). However, these spaces are notoriously very influential in our physical lives, therefore opening up the world to a new concept – “Social space” – as it is called in Volker article.

These spaces are virtual spaces that are created based on people’s physical lives – where the uploading of photo’s, chat and other media from our physical space which are used to entertain others in the virtual space.

To further complicate this idea of physical vs. Virtual space, Volker talks about the creation of the mobile phone. Before the creation of such phones like the blueberry or iPhone, there was at least some separation between virtual and physical space. Virtual space could only be accessed by a computer, therefore limiting the amount of time one spends on these social spaces; allowing the user to have some part of their day “virtual space free”. However, now with creations such as the iPhone, social sites can be accessed at ANY time – including when you’re away from a computer and living your physical life.

As a society, we keep growing. 40 years ago “spaces” were clearly defined. Now new “spaces” are being created to keep up with modifications in technology. Personal space is something less and less people are getting on a regular basis as people can now literally contact you, or you contact others, at any time of the day. We, as a society, just need to keep on evolving with technology, to modify laws and rules to keep what personal space we have left scared.

Hope its clear,

Natasha Boustani xx

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