Misery and delight of a virtual room of our own

A few months ago I wrote about the distinction between vision and reality of online socialization that Russell Beale made in his talk at CHI2006.

The Vision was about what’s good about the digital connected world: plenty of free information and the ability to connect with many individuals in real time. The Reality was about what’s not so good about technology: isolation, bias, and self-centeredness. “Information is selected and filtered out based on preference: we cut out what we don’t like or don’t agree with. Technology enables an ignorance society. Even when we are physically present, we are socially absent.”

Second LifeA recent post by David Wong on Pointless waste (via Karl Martino) lists seven reasons why living in this wonderful networked world makes us feel miserable. David Wong describes how technology allows us to lock ourself in our own little cozy world and progressively lose the ability to deal with the annoyances and roughness of the real world. The real worlds is not as pleasant and comfortable as our virtual worlds (Second Life, anyone?) but it’s, indeed, real.

Read more…

The chronicles of bad experience: Verizon and Symantec

Everybody knows that bloggers like to bash companies that have displeased them. We do it because we feel angry and betrayed and want to get back at them. We also do it because we want to save others from unpleasant experiences and avoidable frustrations. Today it’s my turn to rant: let’s talk about Verizon’s greed and Symantec’s pitiful and misleading customer service. Fasten your seat belts.

Read more…

CHI 2006: Is technology good or bad for social interaction?

One of the discussion threads at the CHI Conference examined the effects of technology on social interaction and socialization. In his talk on mobile blogging, Russell Beale (University of Birmigham, UK – blog) described two different views on the effect of technology on socialization, what he calls Vision and Reality.  The Vision–the optimistic view on … Read more…