Society’s Loss of the Human Experience

David Bolter and Richard Grusin raise an interesting question in “Introduction: The Double Logic of Remediation”. They question the kind of contradiction between immediacy and hypermediacy in the media. It appears as though the media strives for a sense of immediacy through hypermediacy. One example that Bolter and Grusin use is CNN. Their website is hypermediated, with its use of graphics and arranged texts and multiple video panes all connected through hyperlinks, yet it strives for immediacy in the sense that the actual news broadcast presents. However, at the same time the broadcasts are reaching to become more hypermediated with graphics and text arrangements being shown on screen. Web designers and editors working in the same building as broadcasters clearly want their website to be “television only better”.

I have noticed that this trend is not strictly in media forms such as the news. It is becoming more and more prevalent within film and television, even more so than when Bolter and Grusin brought the subject up. The example that they used was a device in the movie Strange Days. This device, called ‘the wire’, allowed the wearer to experience the world from someone else’s perspective, whether it be a police officer on a drug bust, or a race car driver. When the movie was made this was a made-up device, yet today it is real. We have virtual reality headsets that we can connect to our game systems, or televisions, or even our phones.

All we need to do is search for “virtual reality” in YouTube and there are pages of videos that we can use with VR Headsets. There is irony in this fact. We have developed technology that allows us to experience things that we might not have the chance to normally from the comfort of our own homes. We have given ourselves the chance to travel the world, without moving. In an effort to expand our ability to experience things, we have taken away the chance to actually experience them. We have put the human experience inside a plastic device and in the process lost the human parts of the experiences.

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