I am going to start by saying “wow!” By no means am I new to the Internet and so many of its capabilities, though after reading these articles, I clearly am ignorant to the majority of it. Baym mentions “perpetual contact” which is nothing new to me, as a smart phone user that is constantly connected. Baym also mentions how this use of this technology is binary in nature. In more ways than one, but I will touch on just one. I see myself as someone that is connected all the time. I get emails, texts, calls, and notifications for social media amongst other things, all day. This makes me view myself as someone at one end of the spectrum. My father, on the other hand, knows how to turn his Iphone 5 on and use basic functions and apps, but isn’t too savvy. Its incredible the differences that people can experience with technology use compared to others. The “social virtual worlds” that Sanchez mentions in his article are unimportant to people such as my father, yet they are something I frequent usually several times per day.
An aspect I knew of and understood, though don’t think I can completely comprehend, is the “hyperpersonal effect” that Bans speaks about. Its amazing to me that people want to try so hard to be different from there actual physical self. The readings all touched on how people tend to be ‘hyper’ or ‘heightened’ versions of themselves online. All of the readings suggest that these people tend to enjoy their online life better than their actual life and show it by spending countless hours on the online programs. I also learned what MUD’s (Multi User Domains) are and how they became very popular. I actually played one of the ones mentioned, Starcraft, years ago.
The readings surprised me, as they were certainly not what I expected to be reading in this class. Now I am almost anxious to see where we are going to be going in Second Life after these readings and Instructor Sanchez saying he is going to take us to some interesting places. Though, I am excited to see what is in store for us as a class and myself as an individual. This class is going to be about seeing ourselves in and around the broad and vast societies that surround us in a safe, virtual style. I’m intrigued and a bit suspicious as to what is coming next.