Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Postmodern and Hyper Reality

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Modern Culture and Hybridization PAPER #1 3/18/2013 HUM310-09 Daniel Echeverria The world has drastically changed since the beginning of online dating and other social network sites. With the growing number of people getting connected in the network, the way older generations used to communicate with each other is slowly diminishing. Today’s social networking sites have altered the way we communicate with each other, changed the ways that we evaluate one another, and the way we express ourselves.

Due to the vast amount of information that can be found on the internet, a person can know about another’s past, current social circle, and interests in a matter of minutes. This has completely changed the way our generation was taught to interact with each other. For so many people now-a-days it has also become part of their social identity. Characteristics and pictures may be exaggerated slightly or completely fabricated, with the intention of enhancing one’s identity for outside observers.

As more innovations in the cyber social network are developed, today’s post-modern culture society is heading toward an hyper reality. According to “Statistic Brain” a US statistics website, there are currently 50 million people single in the United States. 40 Million People have tried online dating.? The way we meet and interact with one another isn’t the same as was 30 years ago. Our generation was taught different on the subject of dating and “Getting to know” someone. What used to be the only way of building a relationship or dating is now changed with the amount of information that is on the internet.

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We have seen that in films, a man meets a woman, they have face-to-face interactions, they talk about themselves and who they are and what they want to become. 1. Statistic Brain “Online Dating Statistics”, online http://www. statisticbrain. com/online-dating-statistics (6/20/2012) Relationships started with getting to know someone unknown, communicating with that someone, and building a relationship out of the experiences with them. Due to the growth of online dating and other network sites, a person can be reviewed before they can present themselves.

Websites like Facebook & MySpace give the user a profile where they can give a description of who they are without directly telling anyone. Someone with a user profile in these websites can be looked up in within seconds just by typing in the other person’s name in a regular web search engine. The excitement of exploring the person’s personality quickly vanishes with a stroke of a button. What was once local pub, or local cafe, or night club as the only ideal destination for social networking has now become online dating websites and online social networks.

Society has begun to adapt these dating methods by using the tools and information in the internet to evaluate one another prior to the actual dating. The traditional dating experience of discovery, surprise, and experience is slowly fading away. In Glenn Ward’s Teach Yourself series, Glenn talks about postmodernism and the changes we need to adapt to, “… society, culture and lifestyle are today significantly different from what they were 100, 50 or even 30 years ago …. Old styles of analysis are no longer useful, and that new approaches and new vocabularies need to be created in order to understand the present. ? Due to the rapidly increasing information technology, and social network users, the 2. Ward, Glenn “Teach Yourself” (Teach Yourself, 1998) modern way to share and research anyone’s personal information is through the web. It can be can be used in many different ways, negative and positive. Law enforcement has used these social websites to investigate suspects and quickly have a better idea of who the person is. A users profile can quickly give brief information on where the user lives, interests, and social group.

But it can also be used to leak viral information in seconds. A recent example was of a LAPD manhunt in February 2013. In early February 2013, a suspected criminal Christopher Dorner posted a manifesto exposing the violence of the LAPD in his Facebook profile. This information was instantly available to everyone to read and share before there was any attempt to destroy the manifesto. ? Another group that has adopted the social network sites as tools for evaluating individuals is employers. Now-a-days an employer can view an applicant’s profile to screen the individual.

Or an employee can be affected by what he/she decides to put on their profile page. According to Oregonbuisness. com, a survey was conducted in Chicago in 2009, “Forty-five percent of employers reported in a recent CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates, a big jump from 22 percent last year. Another 11 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening. More than 2,600 hiring managers participated in the survey, which was completed in June 2009. ”? 3. Wikipedia, “Christopher Dorner” online http://en. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Christopher_Dorner (2/13/2013) 4. Oregon Business Report, “45% Employers use Facebook-Twitter to screen job candidates” online http://oregonbusinessreport. com/2009/08/45-employers-use-facebook-twitter-to-screen-job-candidates (8/24/2009) In other cases employees are fired for pictures they have posted and blogs they have written on their user profiles while on their personal time. It can be amazing how society has embraced and trusted information technology now when merely a few decades ago the public was nervous of having the same technology invade their privacy.

Kimberly N Rosenfeld mentions this in her article Terminator to Avatar: A Postmodern Shift, “Cinematic representations of a society in shambles brought about by humankind’s losing control to its machines were popular with audiences in a period when the sociopolitical context fostered anxiety and technological mistrust. ”? Although social networks provide the tools to the users so that they can express themselves, a user could use the profile to portray themselves as someone they are not.

Not too long ago, punk rockers in the UK showed the world their rebellion through appearance and politically themed lyrics. During the 1980’s Iranian War, it was obligatory for young women to wear a veil at school. In Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel “Persepolis” a young Iranian school girl identifies herself as a rebel by the way she dresses and the way she communicates her views. She dresses in public with a denim jacket, with Michael Jackson Pins and Nike shoes.

Her image is that of a modern punk which was not tolerated from women at the time.? As mentioned earlier in this essay, a user’s personality can be now easily identified by viewing the user’s profile. Pictures, blogs, personal statements, comments on others pages, can easily describe 5. Rosenfeld N, Kimberly (Terminator to Avatar: A Post Modern Shift, 2010) 6. Satrapi, Marjane “Persopolis” (Random House Inc, 1969) who the user is. Society has adopted this form of self-expression and has become comfortable on showing their identity this way.

The user has become so addicted to the world of online social networking that physical communication and real social networking is almost not preferred. Almost similar to a gamer feeling confident playing an online sport better than the actual sport itself. Rosenfeld also describes this while comparing the movie “Avatar” to modern hyper reality. “While inhabiting the body of their avatar, human drivers are able to manipulate the world around them, free from the constraints of their earthly life. Pandora is a place where interspecies communication and relationships are possible.

It is also a place where a paraplegic war torn veteran can experience once again the sensations of his limbs and the joy of living. ”? In the “Pandora” of social networks, a person who has a nervous personality can feel fully comfortable communicating to another person without actually being in front of them. Again Rosenfield quotes director of “Avatar” James Cameron on his experience of a submarine expedition to the Titanic, ““I'm operating it, but my mind is in the vehicle. I felt like I was physically present inside the shipwreck of Titanic. So, it was this absolutely remarkable experience. ”? As technology advances, we can expect to see more of these virtual realities develop. It’s inevitable that we will be communicating with one another more and more through online networks than by person anymore. The line between reality and hyper reality will become 7. Rosenfeld N, Kimberly (Terminator to Avatar: A Post Modern Shift, 2010) 8. Rosenfeld N, Kimberly (Terminator to Avatar: A Post Modern Shift, 2010) blurred for post-modern society as more people use online identities to interact.

The way we used to express ourselves, from the way that we dress or the way that we talk, will be another fad lost in history. Technology will use a search engine to influence our decision on which person we want meet and communicate with. Profiles and “Avatars” will replace human personalities and online worlds will become to feel much easier to live in. Rosenfeld talks about how the movie Avatar is a prediction on how society is slowly changing their views and attitudes toward the “real life”. “We find in Pandora simulacra of a post humanist future.

The utopian quality of this film’s magical world has even resulted in an uncommon public reaction, post viewing depression, as several news sources have reported. Maybe the public is especially sensitive to the contrast between the film’s hyper reality and the current reality of our depressed economy. When these viewers walk out of the theater, they are let down at returning to live in the actual world they must inhabit”. ? 9. Rosenfeld N, Kimberly (Terminator to Avatar: A Post Modern Shift, 2010) Works Cited 1. Statistic Brain “Online Dating Statistics”, online http://www. tatisticbrain. com/online-dating-statistics (6/20/2012) 2. Ward, Glenn “Teach Yourself” (Teach Yourself, 1998) Wikipedia, “Christopher Dorner” online http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Christopher_Dorner (2/13/2013) 3. Oregon Business Report, “45% Employers use Facebook-Twitter to screen job candidates” online http://oregonbusinessreport. com/2009/08/45-employers-use-facebook-twitter-to-screen-job-candidates (8/24/2009) 4. Rosenfeld N, Kimberly (Terminator to Avatar: A Post Modern Shift, 2010) 5. Satrapi, Marjane “Persopolis” (Random House Inc, 1969)

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