Reading Response 5 – Stephanie Blazevic

In this chapter from Lovink’s book Networks Without A Cause, he outlines the dynamic shift in social interaction online in the move from Web 1.0 to 2.0 that relies on “user generated content”. What do you envision Web 3.0 to be and what is the next level of user empowerment?

If the biggest factor in the shift between Web 1.0 and 2.0 was user generated content, then I’d image the shift toward Web 3.0 may in fact have something to do with a more secured web experience. With just about every person being involved with the Internet somehow, the idea of the netizen may come back into play in a more official way. Perhaps, just as one has to apply for passports and drivers licenses, people in the future may have to register to become a contributing member of web content. I mean this in a way that is separate from registering or applying for a personalized webspace. Now it’s so easy to get an email address and that address is really your ticket onto the social network. Lovink mentions issues regarding comment culture of Web 2.0 becoming a concern for the safety or at least morality of user generated content. He also mentions specific police divisions whose sole purpose is to solve cyber crimes. Cyber bullying has also been a major issue amongst users, especially teens who don’t necessarily know the full impact that their virtual self can affect their real life. Web 3.0 could be its own sort of online society in a literal sense where users have to be legally registered, and a “police force” is put in place to assure cyber crime and cyber bullying don’t get out of hand the way they do now. Age restrictions could be enforced to assure children don’t find their way onto sites they shouldn’t be on, and also so they are less likely to post stupid things that could come back to haunt them. This is another issue that I think is really starting to affect people as they continue to grow from childhood into adulthood. No one should be haunted by a small stupid thing they did on the internet when they were 13 years old be it cyber bullying, posting inappropriate pictures or perhaps even just using a ridiculous email on too many accounts that they made when they were young. I don’t mean for this to become a way to suppress our freedom of speech, but as a means to make the internet safe again now that there are far too many ways for things to go critically wrong in real life situations through the Internet.



Throughout the article, Lovink argues for a form of criticism that is specific to the Internet—one that looks at theories about culture and society through the lens of networked technologies. Do you also believe that this is necessary to study as we move forward? Why or why not?

I think that we have so many ways of criticizing other cultural elements that it’s a little absurd that there isn’t one that exists for describing web culture. Networked technologies are no longer just a luxury they are a necessity. There are so many jobs exclusively surrounding the Internet and networked technologies, let alone jobs that just rely on it. However I so believe that one day there will be one. This is a sort of milestone in the life of the human species just as the Industrial Revolution was. Society relies on technology for so many different reasons. I can remember my mother ordering her groceries online so that she could forgo the embarrassment of having to embark on the impossible mission that was maneuvering through the grocery store with two ADD ridden children who would scream about anything and one who would just cry because his siblings were screaming. My mother was no doubt the first to do this and I highly doubt she’ll be the last. This sort of societal norm should be assessed and defined as the technological realm progresses through the years and expands into more than a means of connectivity. The more and more we rely on technology, the more technology will advance and adapt to fit the new needs. Networked technology isn’t something that is going to go away any time soon. We may think that some people are crazy for doing what they do on the Internet, but surely there is a reason for this and we need a better way of criticizing our need for the Internet.

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