Unplug to Connect

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Digital Imagery as Social Mechanism: Community

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Unplug to Connect

  1. 1. SKETCH Binaebi Akah » PROJECT 3.B I590 Spring 2010 Digital Imagery as Social Mechanism: Community
  2. 2. DESIGN RESEARCH The word community has traditional and variable The photos shown visually represent differing definitions, or so it seems to me. Traditionally, levels of technologically-mediated interactions community has to do with a group of individuals in with communities of individuals. the same location. Yet, with digital technologies, The first is a physical representation of the abstract we have the ability to feel connected to individuals act of interfacing with an online community. It is whether we are collocated or not. an interesting commentary about the way people, Thanks to technological methods of communication when interacting with online communities, seem and connectivity, our understanding of community hidden from the persons who surround them. This has altered. is interesting because of the fact that the persons surrounding them would have traditionally been What does this do to our notion of community? considered their community. We are able to sit at a computer surrounded by Does this mean we are enabled with the power of people, not speak to them, and yet feel connected choice thanks to the presence of technologically- to a community. mediated communities? As shown with the tongue-in-cheek laptop Pictured second is a photo I took during a session compubody sock, this community just so happens of Mad Skillz Club where one student taught to be online, and therefore not collocated. InDesign tricks to her peers. This community is collocated, sharing an interest, and interfacing Despite not being collocated, we are able to feel with technology. Though in this case, they used the a part of a community because of the shared technology to learn a skill set from one another. interests, rather than shared location. There is a tension between the traditional, I wonder, does this imply that technology allows collocated community and the modern, shared us to learn things from one another that would interest community. I am not saying one is better have been more difficult without said technology? than the other. I took the final photo at the Lunar New Year Is it a bad thing to feel more connected to persons celebration. The students were playing a game, met online? Are we losing valuable socializing and didn’t rely on technology. This is an example skills when we prefer technologically-mediated of collocated persons, sharing an interest, and communities? Are we enabling communities abandoning technology for an “unplugged” night. that could not have existed otherwise with said In the long run, is technology aiding our ability to technological mediation? Who are we to judge develop communities with one another, or should what is the correct form of community? we worry for our future? Binaebi Akah » PROJECT 3.B I590 Spring 2010 Digital Imagery as Social Mechanism: Community
  3. 3. ATTRIBUTIONSPrimaryBinaebi AkahUnplugging from technology on a regularbasis helps maintain sanity, and allows us toreestablish connections.Secondary“Wordle sketch” “Feb 12, 2010 Mad Skillz Club” “Laptop Compubody sock”http://www.wordle.net Binaebi Akah, Bloomington IN Becky Stern, MAKE Associate editorText from Binaebi Akah, Eli Blevis http://www.flickr.com/photos/bekath-Accessed February 13, 2010 wia/2462986853/in/set-72157604381050339/ Accessed February 13, 2010 Binaebi Akah » PROJECT 3.B I590 Spring 2010 Digital Imagery as Social Mechanism: Community

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