What is it exactly about the Big Switch that sends shivers down Nicholas Carr’s self-contained spine? If anything, it’s saving us money and ultimately making our lives easier in terms of obtaining information and such over the internet. No longer do we need to buy burdensome hardware or software. We’re able to more easily connect with others with common interests and goals over the internet.
Although there are many positives to the concept of the Big Switch, negative aspects, too, exist. Carr’s fears are understandable and perhaps resonate with each and every one of us in some way. Deep down, to a degree, we all must have some sort of fear of settling down in a state of massive self-reliance on the world wide computer and its endless amount of accessibility. No longer must we be self-reliant when it comes to obtaining media and information but we must be careful so as not to become too dependent on the utility that is the internet.
For all the flaws of the mass media, it helped give diverse people a common sense of identity; it served as a glue for society. That glue is being dissolved, and a lot of the mainstays of our culture, such as the kind of hard journalism that was traditionally done by newspapers, are facing severe economic threats.
This point that Carr makes is valid to me but at the same time, I feel that society will be able to find a balance between both physical and virtual media. It’s always better to have physical copies of media anyhow so his saying that culture is being undone practically by the virtual media is kind of ridiculous.
I sketch out some of the scenarios for what might be called Cold War 2.0 in The Big Switch, and they’re not pretty. The Net has the capacity to bring people together, but it also has the capacity to divide us in ways we haven’t seen before.
The first part of Carr’s point may seem paranoid but I agree wholeheartedly with his mentioning that the internet can both bring and divide people as never experienced before. This is only one more reason to be more aware of our usage of the world wide web. All in all, I simply think that although some of Carr’s points are convincing, all that the world needs to do is be aware of their internet usage and reliance so as not to be so indulged in the vast amount of information and media available to us.