Tag Archives: essay

1984 by a Digital native

Let me clear one thing from the very beginning: I’m a pessimist, or may be a realist with an unauthorised doze of sarcasm. But I’m also a digital native, generation Z and floppy disk sound makes me feel nostalgic.

So once the question like “Internet is making us dumber”  is set, I struggle to find the exact answer I tear myself apart. Having all that power of knowledge on the tip of your fingers makes you feel smarter. But what happens when you laptop hard drive crashes?  Where all that superiority over machine is gone?

What is the first thing to do when you don’t know the answer? Google it! (To be more specific Generation Z prefers to “Google scholar it”): myriad of articles and researches of notorious psychologists, great expectations and predictions:” We’re all standing at the edge of Digital era. Time of unlimited opportunities…”

I don’t feel myself that smart anymore, I feel more like a guinea pig.

Why?

Because it is me. And it is really happening with me. Learning patterns, filtering of information. I taught my brain to filter to read through the line to skim the pages.  I look for the simplified, short review, condensed meaning.  Text should be bold when important, additional notes or emotive comments in italics or in different color. Still booooring, get me more MORE visuals, infographics preferably!  (I almost  hear, somebody’s whispering over my shoulder ‘This is what we call de-gra-dation, Alina…’)

Caramba! My time perceiving pattern is broken too!

There is no month and seasons for me, only day and night and 24 hours is never enough (Could we do at least 30, pleaaase?) I’ve noticed how I constantly rush myself: “Wasting time, yo could do more! Look you just missed that and you haven’t even heard of that” Twitter syndrom? Help! I definitely accumulate stress because of that.

False-multitasking

‘But I DO lots of stuff at the same time!’- I find myslef an excuse. I have my googel reader getting fatter with new feeds, my tumblr dashboard is begging to be read, 4 unanswered emails. I manipulate in the world of distractions. I once even tried to set a program that block all the internet browsing and twitter account, but felt like trying to put a straitjacket yourself. (I’m stronger than that, I can resist!) But it looks like I did a false service to myself;  I learned how to switch attention without an actual concentration:

-‘Hi everybody! I’m a distracted attention junkie…’

-‘Hi-i-i-i-i-i-i, Alina!’

Are there any positives in this spoiling our minds computerized era?

I believe, Motivation & Enthusiasm.They say Gen Z might not be the best workaholics but they do their best to get the result they need, even if you study the whole night before the exam; You are driven by the result and not only. You have this idea that you can jump higher, that you know something that other don’t know yet, you’ve seen it first and shared to others. You go further, you never stop!

Creativity by all means! It couldn’t be killed in me by google, whatever  picture search algorithm they have nowadays. With all the massive data of visual inspiration on some of the greatest web resources like
ffffound.com
, Fubiz, Designcollector From the altitude ‘I can’tdrawineverwentoartschoolblah-blah-blah’ I went to the altitude ‘Yes, I CAN’. I don’t know how this mechanism works in my head but after visiting those resources, looking though various technics and artists, new trends and classics interpretations I have a flow of my own ideas. Of course they are all compilation of those visuals, so what?

The final verdict – ” I officially cancel 1984 digital scenario”.

I do at the end. You are probably tired of reading and I’ll summarize my main thought. Even though we play these games with the technologies we invented nobody has even explain the main technological wonder of homo digitulus that once known as homo sapiens,  our brain! Times might change and we might live in the world ruled by Facebook, but we’re not getting dumber we’re not degradating, we move to the different level, we adapt to these conditions. Our mind simply invents a new algorithms, if you want.Look at these geeky teens of nowadays, some of them know the basics of HTML as an ABC. It’s fascinating! If we can’t understand something, if changes are happening too quickly for us that doesn’t directly mean that its a step backwards. Or may be it is, but only to make two steps froward!

(until we all die from a meteorite. end of story =D)


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How come I’m ended up studying Msc Applied Digital Media in Griffith College, Dublin?

I strongly believe, that the actions that we commit in our lives are somehow predetermined. “Predetermined by whom or by what?” you would wonder. Firstly by the choices that we make each and every day. Secondly those choices create lines of opportunities, which we might not recognize, but intuitively follow. You can call it fate, simple logic or “New age” psychology, terms don’t really matter as far as this “decision making” theory works for me.

People around always thought of me as a creative personality. And though from my side I always doubted that I always tried to get involved in the whole range of creative activities such as fashion design & crafts, photography, fine art, scrapbooking, starting from high school years when I played a primary character at our drama club when  everybody was sure I would enter drama school. But I never did! I still think that when you are seventeen its hard to understand what you REALLY want to do with your life. I threw myself into learning foreign languages. Thanks to that I had a chance to live at various places like Alaska, Florida, Paris, and Mark Twain would reiterate that by saying: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

English and French languages opened a whole world of different cultures in front of me. Experiences that I’ve lived through these years of traveling expanded the rage of interests from fine art & graphic design to photography & typography. They helped me to determine my life and professional priorities. Thus my goal in life is a career in the international advertising company. This is a direction that fascinates me, my passion that drives me to overcome any obstacles. In today’s world  the art of visual communication is an emerging and continuously involving field that pervades all the areas of business and social life. It is this challenging environment which I intend to advance by evolving my meaningful and creative ideas.

Up to now i have done my best to fill in the lack of my knowledge in this sphere by reading and learning from Internet, continuously improving my skills in different software like Photoshop, CorelDraw, Sound Forge, however self learning works fine only up to the moment when there is certain number of questions you have and there is nobody to answer them for you. Thereby to achieve my career goals, I need to learn much more about current developments and techniques in digital media and communication and multimedia design. I would like to gain deeper theoretical knowledge and practice experience in the field of multimedia design.  This is where Master’s Degree in Griffith college with its very comprehensive program and its productive ‘learn by doing’ format of studies meets all the expectations and will make an excellent investment in my future.

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IMHO “Delete: The virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age”

Viktor Mayer-Shonberger’s book “Delete: The virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age” evoked a vast thread of discussion. Thorough reading of the top reviews that appeared on the first two pages of the Google search has permitted me to formulate my own point of view on the suggested matter.

It seems to me that the main idea, of the digital world that would never forget anything about you, has a right to exist and in general context serves a good mission. It could be regarded as red flag for those who haven’t got the message yet: there are NO games with digital space.

I call it “digital space” because at this crucial point I disagree with the author. It couldn’t be possibly named a “memory”, in terms of human understanding of the term “memory”. Human memory comprises of 3 types of memories: sensory, short-term and long-term. Computers used for storage purposes have the latter two only. Till this time not a single digitally encoded machine could copy the processes that involve sensory memory. It doesn’t work as selectively as human brain does (putting away the memories, erasing them permanently or leaving them forever).  That’s why the suggested solution for putting the expiration date on every bit of information won’t work as our own brain itself doesn’t work by this template!

That is why I’ll try to reformulate the problem that we’re facing right now. The major concern is how we should deal with that huge amount of constantly encoding & multiplying data.

As for the author’s point of view in future  everybody could become hostage of the Google search history, embarrassing tags on Facebook etc. He explains that this information would never be deleted from the server’s storage and could be retrieved at any moment. He gives a number of rather “cliche examples” how professional life has been ruined with a simple tag of inappropriate photos uploaded to online albums.

I look at it from the different perspective. The main problem isn’t really the idea of us being tracked within every click online, but our inability to react intelligently with the tools Of Digital Age that we’re given, saber space in particular. If you don’t want to be fired, think before uploading/writing inappropriate things. Before adding a new friend on Facebook think twice what is the purpose you’re adding him/her: is it that you would like to share your private life with this person or you simply want to increase your friend list?.. Most of the time we twist the idea of social networks and forget what they serve for. If you want to keep your life in total privacy, simply stay “Digitally abstinent” – no accounts in social networks, strictly professional use of email; phone and face to face meetings only. I personally know those kind of people and nobody forces them to go online.

So, all this possible “threat” of the stored data used against you will happen only in a limited number of cases: when you play important role in the society i.e. being a politician, public figure etc.  For the rest masses of people I have only one answer “you are not as valuable as you think you are!” . The worst security scenario that could happen is that you may get involved into target advertising campaigns that are there anyway already as “suggested items” banners on our accounts. But again, the question isn’t really in the cookies that were “stolen” from your laptop cache, but the final choice you make ”to click or not on that banner” & whether to pay attention to it at all or not.

I could go further on with the examples of teenagers using digital space irrationally, but I would go in circles and repeat again level of education they got from their parents on that matter, notion of freedom that they haven’t learnt to use yet.
Finally I still find the idea of Viktor Mayer-Shonberger of “not forgetting memory of Digital Age” to be a bit exaggerated in individual case of average user, and while trying to embrace the negative aspects of it I have got to the psychological backgrounds of the isslies. After all it’s just simple human behaviour that lies behind it.

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