The Anthropology of Google+ Part 2
Marshall McLuhan wrote “Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man-the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media. Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be “a good thing” is a question that admits of a wide solution. There is little possibility of answering such questions about the extensions of man without considering all of them together. Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex.”
It provides a lot to think about as we sit at the dawn of the ‘social age’. Each day I connect with people across the planet. I’ve been endeavoring to build an international circle which contains one person from every country in the world. Take a moment to consider that. With the touch of a button I can share a thought, an idea, a picture, a video, a song, or if I choose an obscenity with a citizen of every country on the planet.
At no time in history has there ever been this kind of possiblity of connection and so, to go back to McLuhan, one must stop to consider the entirety of the social and psychic complex. This is no small thing. It is no small moment in history.
In From Alien to the Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film (and let’s be clear about the fact that not too long ago something like Google+ was science fiction) , writer Roz Kaveney states that
“…certain works of art, among them science fiction films, have the capacity to act as triggers for the creative and critical imagination.”
Kaveney goes on to say that fans are able to watch certain films or programs, think about them, and then return back to them with a more complex form of enjoyment. Perhaps this begins to give us a clue as to what has been happening among the beta users of Google+, a sort of visceral collaboration between Googlers and Google+ Users. The creation process no longer restricted by the once insurmountable chasm that stood between developer and user, but instead a new form of collaboration wherein the user has, in a sense, become the developer and the developer has become the user.
There will be more of this sort of thing here at http://gplus.to/vago and you can be sure that I am the one saying it because Google+ has made sure that I am me and for that I feel at ease.