Reach Out & Touch Someone

In Blogging, Digital Ethnography by Emerson Jane BrowneLeave a Comment

I am fascinated by how the internet is changing our communication and our relationships to one another!  I have heard people make disparaging remarks that soon we will all just sit in rooms with computers in front of us and never truly connect with anyone; that we will become machine-like ourselves.  I couldn’t disagree more!!

The internet is connecting us in ways most of us never imagined possible.  I don’t mean “imagined the technology”, I mean imagined how we would connect Heart to Heart via the web.

This is hitting home to me on a personal level over and over.

  • I can share this blog with people working their way through recovery from a TBI.
  • I am reconnecting to people from K – 12 grades via Facebook.  As I write this I am having an ongoing conversation with two classmates from days of yore.  We are trying to identify people in a kindegarten class picture taken in 1961.
  • Yesterday I set up a Facebook account for my 84 year old mother.  Facebook will be a good way for my Mom to keep up with her eldest granddaughter who just left to spend a year in Belgium.
  • Just now, my sister sent me a link to a YouTube video of a TV interview with my niece’s Belgium host family about their experience of choosing to be a host family and choosing my niece.  It makes the world a little smaller!

Instead of writing a lot more, I want to let two short videos do the talking.

This first one is one done by Becky Roth, a Senior student at the University of Kansas under Professor Michael Wesch.  (If you have not yet seen Michael Wesch’s Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us click on the linked name and spend 4 minutes to watch it.  It is phenomenal.)

Becky Roth’s piece is titled: The Internet has a Face   Becky says of this:

Before, we were reliant upon what the user has expressed through words,
however, when one can read beyond words through visuals, the
communication seems to become more “human and personal.” If there was a
fear that the internet was making society antisocial, vlogging would
seek to prove otherwise.

Another amazing and fairly brief video is a TED talk by Jonathan Harris, an artist who uses programming as his art form. He has developed programs/websites scour the Internet for unfiltered content, which his beautiful interfaces then organize to create coherence from the chaos.

His projects are both intensely personal (the “We Feel Fine” project, made with Sep Kanvar, which scans the world’s blogs to collect snapshots of the writers’ feelings) and entirely global (the new “Universe,” which turns current events into constellations of words). But their effect is the same — to show off a world that resonates with shared emotions, concerns, problems, triumphs and troubles.

Emerson Jane Browne
I am Emerson Jane Browne. I write about Brains, Apps, & Productivity, and many other aspects of Life. I speak to TBI support groups, speak and teach workshops at tech, music, and writer conferences. I consult with organizations on strategic planning and building a strong community.