Off the Network : Disrupting the Digital World by Ulises Ali Mejias

By Ulises Ali Mejias

The electronic global profoundly shapes how we paintings and eat and in addition how we play, socialize, create identities, and have interaction in politics and civic existence. certainly, we're so enmeshed in electronic networks—from social media to mobilephone phones—that it's challenging to conceive of them from the skin or to visualize an alternate, not to mention defy their doubtless inescapable strength and common sense. sure, it truly is (sort of) attainable to surrender fb. yet is it attainable to disconnect from the electronic network—and why may well we'd like to?

Off the Network is a clean and authoritative exam of the way the hidden common sense of the net, social media, and the electronic community is altering clients’ figuring out of the world—and why that are supposed to fear us. Ulises Ali Mejias additionally indicates how we would start to reconsider the common sense of the community and query its ascendancy. Touted as consensual, inclusive, and gratifying, the electronic community is additionally, Mejias says, monopolizing and perilous in its ability to figure out, commodify, and commercialize such a lot of features of our lives. He exhibits how the community broadens participation but additionally exacerbates disparity—and the way it excludes extra of society than it includes.

Uniquely, Mejias makes the case that it isn't simply essential to problem the privatized and commercialized modes of social and civic existence provided by means of corporate-controlled areas akin to fb and Twitter, yet that such confrontations will be fixed from either inside of and outdoors the community. the result's an uncompromising, refined, and available critique of the electronic global that more and more dominates our lives.

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They are the result of previous social models as well as new, emerging ones. This actualization of the virtual unveils new associations, new ways in which things that were not linked before are now related, and also in which other things are now excluded or forgotten. Disrupting the network prevents the energy of nodes from becoming arrested or complacent, and unleashes it in new directions, as nodes begin to unthink themselves. From the perspective of the node, the witnessing of the ethical resistance of the outside (the way it is excluded, the way it resists assimilation) can lead to the kind of self-questioning that can generate personal and social change.

If Google is changing our cognitive makeup, Facebook is rewriting our social one. The rise of the digital network as a template for organizing sociality means that corporations are playing and will continue to play a major role in shaping the modes of participation and citizenship in our societies. To better understand the implications of this process, we can look at the technologizing of society through the economics and market structure of the social networking industry. Social network services such as Facebook and MySpace are web-based platforms that allow users to create a personal profile by filling out a form that collects personal information.

The present goal of unmapping the network, therefore, is to give the mind the tools to envision how the network has shaped and molded us, to explain how the network has determined us, and more important, to raise the possibility of alternatives—to ask how we can determine it. Perhaps this intellectual exercise is a good enough start, considering that network logic points to a crisis of imagination, specifically, to a crisis of how we imagine ourselves as individuals in a community. Defining the self in relation to the collective requires an investment of multiple desires or affects that converge in the act of imagining a community.

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