Could it be that the digital revolution is steadily and increasingly replacing real life, concrete experiences perceived with our 5 senses…with virtuality, an artificial and electronically generated reality.
Consider the use of E-books. Using these virtual tomes instead of REAL books, readers forgo the multi-sensual experience of buying a book or checking one out of a library….they’re denied the tactile sensation of a book in their hands and the turning of its pages…they don’t experience the mild chemical smell of a newly printed book or the musty odor of an old one…and all this sensual deprivation for the “convenience” of reading a virtual book on a screen.
Consider computer/tablet use. FB now allows people to acquire and chat with “friends”, in many cases ones they’ve never met or never will meet. Email, texting and instant messaging permit communication without personal interaction, no nuances transmitted by voice inflection or by the body language that occurs in face-to-face encounters, no opportunities for bonding…only letters on a screen that represent a being at the other end.
Via computer we can escape to anyplace on the globe or most anywhere in the universe, but, of course, the experience is devoid of feeling one gets from actually “being there” in person.
In short, is digitization removing us from the real world?
Extrapolating this concept, VR or virtual reality programs, are capable now of simulating the real, world, by convincingly immersing us in an imaginary environment that engages all the senses, blurring the line between what is real and what is not.
Is there a danger that one day we won’t be able to tell the difference or are we almost there now?
PS…But I still love my ipad