Is this the Face of a Cyborg?

February 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

In university (the first time), I wrote an essay about the ways in which technological devices enhance and extend our abilities. In the context of books like Neuromancer and Microserfs, I postulated that as our self-images are increasingly integrated with our virtual selves and the presences we create in the online world, those hybrid, virtual selves are, in fact, cyborgs of a sort.

Further down the line, as we ourselves are changed by our virtual identities, and we grow increasingly dependent on our connection with the interwebs–and the time we invest in that presence and those interactions–we become more and more like cyborgs ourselves.

I was reminded of this today, as I reflected on this mobile device I’ve been using, to update my blog, and the way it pulls my connection with the cyberworld into the everyday to a greater degree than ever before.

It made me think of the broader connections involved. The way that our facebook profiles are extensions of ourselves–and how our interactions there extend our social spheres into the virtual world, while bridging extraordinary distances and expanding our presences, via its incursions into different points in all corners of the Real World. Cyberspace elides distances because it is Random Acces, and our real world notion of spatiality is no longer meaningful–for all that we continue to cling to it in interpolating our conception of cyberspace.

I don’t feel like a cyborg. But am I? Is the person who walks the everyday world a cyborg at this point–someone who would feel reduced without acess to her virtual presence and contacts (email, skype, facebook, news and information, maps, instant answers to most questions that arise)? Or, is it *this* virtual self–the voice behind the blog post, the facebooker and email correspondent, the inextricable blend of my organic self and the electronic technologies I use to project myself into the online spaces–that is the cyborg? In other words: is it the picture and the words, and all the other fragments of myself that are online which are, compositely, the cyborg, or is the cyborg actually the person who created and uploaded them?

What do you think?

Sent from my iPod, so please pardon any typos!

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