According to University of California professor, Dr. Donna Haraway, we are all cyborgs but it’s not actually what you think. When she meant cyborgs, it’s not the half-man/half-machine that you identify with like the Terminator, Robocop or the Borg. The definition is based more on how we are using today’s technology in every aspect of our lives. The actual definition of Cyborg Anthropology is that it’s a field that studies tools as extensions of the body that can be removed and upgraded without having to rely on the time-consuming process of evolution and a cyborg anthropologist looks at how humans and non human objects interact with each other, and how that changes culture, all absolutely true. If you take a look at today’s technology, we are all practically attached to some form of it. Technology like smartphones, tablets, netbooks and mp3 players help “augment” our productive lives in communication, education and entertainment. Social media has also developed a more open relationship between human and technology as well as developing interactivity that closely adapts to our human senses. Sooner or later we will no longer need keyboards but rely on touch screens and eye movements for web navigation. In fact, we are already using “augmented reality” to gather information about geo locations and individuals.
I became interested in social media and how it interacts with human communication. It’s amazing that despite all the complex interfaces and real time dialogue it all goes back to the basic element of pure human socialization. I studied particular concepts related to social media such as transparency, relevancy and community. These terms are widely taught in both my classes and professional conferences but there’s so much more to it and through my research I finally found somebody that points out the importance of behavior and psychology of techno-social interaction as well as the human embodiment and human immersion into cyberscape.
Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist specializing on how individuals interact with mobile technology and online media platforms, she also co-founded Cyborg Camp where technologists gather to discuss user interface design, interactivity, media socialization and cyberculture. I’ve discussed certain topics with her on cyborg anthropology and techno-social interaction and she really opened my mind into a deeper understanding of how and why we use technology. I encourage you to watch a video webinar that she presented awhile back on a quick introduction to Cyborg Anthropology which I posted above and also study Amber’s newly developed wiki on Cyborg Anthropology if you want to delve deeper into the subject. You can contact her on Twitter and she’ll be more than happy to talk to you about it.
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