The Cyber Effect by Mary Aiken is an engaging—though at times frightening—study of the effects of technology and Internet culture on persons. She addresses issues such as raising children in a digital environment, the addictive qualities of certain technologies, romance, “cyberchondria,” and the ethics of anonymity. I’ve found it thorough and current. She hits the mark. Aiken writes a challenging and sobering book without resorting to condescension. I encountered this thoughtful section this morning:
Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers’s work is valuable in terms of illustrating how a young person develops identity. He described self-concept as having three components:
- The view you have of yourself—or “self-image.”
- How much value you place on your worth—or “self-esteem.”
- What you wish you were like—or the “ideal self.”
I think we should consider adding a fourth aspect of “self” to Rogers’s list. In the age of technology, identity appears to be increasingly developed through the gateway of a different self, a less tangible one, a digital creation.
Let’s call this the “cyber self”—or who you are in a digital context. This is the idealized self, the person you wish to be, and therefore an important aspect of self-concept. It is a potential new you that now manifests in a new environment, cyberspace. To an increasing extent, it is the virtual self that today’s teenager is busy assembling, creating, and experimenting with. Each year, as technology becomes a more dominant fact in the lives of teens, the cyber self is what interacts with others, needs a bigger time investment, and has the promise of becoming an overnight viral celebrity. The selfie is the frontline cyber self, a highly manipulated artifact that has been created and curated for public consumption.
But how do we explain that weird, vacant, unmistakable expression on the faces of many selfie subjects? They eyes look out but the mind is elsewhere.
The virtual mirror could be socially isolating, except for one thing. The selfie can’t exist in a vacuum. The selfie needs feedback. A cyber-psychologist might say that’s the whole point of a selfie.
Selfies ask a question of their audience: Like me like this? (Aiken, The Cyber Effect, pp. 171–172)
I finally registered for my first triathlon. It’s an Olympic distance race, which means a 1500 meter swim, 24.9 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. Bring it on.
Camden, Kelly, and Kipton discuss budgeting, home improvement projects, and Kipton’s relationship with 220v.
This is like getting everyone together to record a podcast episode.
The three Bucey brothers—Camden, Kelly, and Kipton—test out a new podcasting service while discussing kombucha, beer, and the absurdity of Pennsylvania drinking laws.
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Most of the media reports I’ve been seeing after Super Tuesday have the air of inevitability regarding Trump as the Republican nominee for president. But just because somebody keeps saying the same thing over and over, doesn’t make it true… So I decided to read up on delegate mechanics and found that Trump is far from locking up the nomination.
A candidate needs 1,237 delegates to win the necessary simple majority and thereby receive the party’s nomination. Trump currently has 319 delegates. Cruz has 226 and Rubio has 110. If a candidate drops out of the race, those delegates are typically up for grabs. Some may head to the convention as superdelegates, uncommitted and waiting for an enticing deal. However, a candidate may also pledge his delegates to a rival.
While Trump has won ten states, he has yet to win a simple majority of delegates. If Trump, Cruz, and Rubio stay in the race, I doubt anyone will win 1,237 delegates. But that probably won’t happen either. After the Florida primary, Rubio may decide to drop out at which point deals will be offered. Regardless, I’d bank on a contested RNC.
I bought a copy of Polarity from ThinkGeek about ten years ago. It was unlike anything I had ever played before. Two players alternate placing magnets onto a canvas game board, floating each successive magnet against others lying on the board. The goal is to use all your pieces by placing and balancing each of your magnets without causing a chain reaction. If you happen to disrupt the magnetic balance and pieces snap together, your opponent gets credit for those pieces. If you cause anything to connect with the center red piece, your opponent automatically wins. You’ll get a better idea of the gameplay by watching one of the videos below.
This review is even weirder than the game itself: