We live in what Marshall McLuhan has defined as a “ Global Village ” ( Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964 ), in a place characterized by a profound cultural and communicative nomadism.
The contemporary nomadic man travels freely through increasingly reduced distances from the development of communication technologies, in a “territory of DarkComet knowledge that hybridizes, contaminates, mutually intertwines, in which everything is mediated or mediatized” and where it feeds on the products of culture (texts, information, messages), hypertextual, non-sequential products, inserted in a network of links that refer to one another without interruption.
Michele Rak and the literature of “Mediopolis”
Borrowing the terminology used by Michele Rak , we could call this strange village “ Mediopolis ”.
What is Mediopolis?
It is a city governed by Media Culture , by relational chaos , by frenzy . A place where social interactions take place in a way:
- and most often random.
The inhabitants are enveloped in a hyper-communicative context which constantly and insistently bombards them with ceaseless inputs and perceptive stimuli, literally forcing them into communication and a continuous interpretative commitment. These environmental characteristics reach hyperbolic traits if we consider what happens in the Internet universe, governed by the virtual and virtuous logic of real time, 4.0, and fed by clouds of applications, blogs, sites, social networks, wikis, words key, email, open source, post, tweet, hypertext, virus, cookie, virtual reality, hashtag, tag, link and share.
The Cyber Citizen of the Web
More and more, we find ourselves “Cyber Citizens” immersed in a non-place, a virtual reality, a space populated by avatars who live their (our) “second life” by feeding on apps, status updates and profile photos.
The “cyber citizen” lives a new way of experiencing reality, a new perception of time that can be deformed beyond the common sensory perception: time can be slowed down to its minimal unity (slow motion technology), or accelerated by altering the capture frequency of each frame (time lapse technology).
All of this obviously has consequences for imagination, language and action .
The “Glocal” World
A glocal world made up of Relationships acquired through Communication Tools , in real time, but without direct experience: a polymorphic and labyrinthine universe that frames the streets of an apparently borderless city where, on the one hand, global communication travels, and, on the other hand, a single individual moves around in a specific place who, outside a community context that gives him an easily recognizable identity, savors what Zygmunt Bauman called the ” solitude of the global citizen “.
The term “Virtual Reality” was coined in 1989 by Jaron Lanier, a New York computer scientist, composer and essayist.
In short, if you have to say something, say it easy!