‘Nikki’ is in a relationship with ‘Technology’

I think the concept of ‘The internet of Things’ is an interesting one, but I am still yet to completely get my head around it. Bleecker (2006) states that:

“Once ‘Things’ are connected to the Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world”.

While I can certainly appreciate this, I feel that his following statement outlining that ‘Things’ in the pervasive Internet, will become first-class citizens with which we will interact and communicate. To me, while the concept is intriguing, it is almost seems a little far fetched.

In this ‘Internet of Things,’ devices, systems and machines will not only communicate with humans, they will also communicate with each other. I certainly agree that our lives have been altered through the increasing advancement of technology, however, the way in which these items are seemingly personified in this sense is a little exaggerated in my opinion.

The idea of everything being connected to the internet is not new, but it’s increasingly becoming a reality. When you think about it, the internet is no longer a network of computers; it has evolved into a network of devices of all types and sizes – such as cars, refrigerators, smartphones, toys, cameras, medical instruments and industrial systems – all connected, all communicating and sharing information all the time. However I still feel that these devices have been created and designed for human use, and thus we still remain the commanders of the relationships.

There are really two sides to be considered in this argument. The technical utopians have portrayed the Internet of Things as a good thing that will bring untold benefits. They are supported by all the companies that stand to benefit by the increasing connectedness of everything. On the other side are the sceptics who warn of the dangers inherent in not only having an ever growing Internet of Things, but our increasing reliance on it.

So where do you sit with the argument?

Reference:

Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’ [URL: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/files/WhyThingsMatter.pdf]

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8 thoughts on “‘Nikki’ is in a relationship with ‘Technology’

  1. I really couldn’t quite wrap my head around this weeks reading but your post gets an A+ in helping me process it! I think what he is trying to get at is that the internet will evolve so much that it could possibly become its own ecosystem, functioning not only by those physical world humans that are online, but also live and breathe through the content posted. It will survive and flourish on its own without nessesarily being controlled by a human participant.

  2. I have a similar view of technology as I think it will always be a tool that I’m in charge of and nothing more. The idea of talking objects (even if they’re only automated responses) weirds me out. I think one of the few examples I understood of “blogjects” was aircraft communicating its location to other devices. So I think one of the points of this technology was to publish relevant information so as long as it stays relevant, I sort of understand the need for it.

  3. This weeks topic really took me by surprise, although I did realise, given the chronological organisation of this topic, that it would have to end with some almighty.. and I do think that objects running the world has taken the cake! I agree with your view that objects are primarily made for humans, therefore we will remain the controllers of the relationships. This being said, it remains with us to retain authority over these objects and not let this relationship start to control us. I know as a young teen new to the Internet and the instantaneousness of msn messenger I become completely ruled by my attachment to this network.. I would make plans around this network, rather than letting it slot in where it suited me. I think it’s easy for people to become infatuated by and rather obsessed with objects, especially when presenting such a great capacity to connect with other objects and make life so much easier!

  4. I still can’t believe what the future already holds in regards to technology! This weeks reading threw me off to what I thought might be happening. Cars that connect to the Internet in order to communicate with other cars, is just crazy, but I am sure that it will be achieved one day. Thinking how far the Internet has come and what has evolved in the past 5 years has amazed me, to think where it will be in the next 5, is crazy, this Internet of things is so rapidly evolving, but will it ever stop and sustain itself for a moment in time?

  5. This reading did confuse me as well; it took me a few attempts to wrap my head around the issue. I took a different approach to your blog. I looked at how bloggers have changed the way we use the Internet and the advantages it has had on our political system globally. However, the way you have presented this topic has broadened my understanding of this week’s topic. I agree with your statement that the Internet does not control us, but we control the Internet. The rapid evolution the Internet has taken over such a short period of time only shows how far in advancement it can continue to grow. I found this website http://websitestandards.org/the-internet-evolution.html very helpful in understanding the evolution of the Internet and how much we have contributed to this change.

  6. I am still taken back by this weeks topic! Whilst i have always known that technology is forever evolving, i guess i never really thought what the possibilities of this evolution could be. Like seriously, who would have imagined that our devices would be able to communicate with one another or that alarm clocks would have the ability to know whether a class got cancelled so we could sleep in for an extra hour or two! I think that the Internet of things will make life easier, however i also think that this development will further contribute to the lethargic nature that society has encompassed.

  7. Nikki, I like you, find this whole concept a little hard to get my head around. It blows my mind that there is so much potential for this technology to grow. I really engaged with how you said that technology has changed the way we engage with people. I have noticed this myself. I have to admit that I am not one to initiate a phone conversation. If I want to find something out or tell someone something, I text them, and more recently, I contact them via a Wall Post on Facebook or an e-mail. Skype is another way I interact with a few of my friend’s who have moved away. It will be fascinating to see how far this particular technology can go. The Internet of Things is an interesting topic and it will be interesting to see where it takes us.

  8. I am finding that I sit a bit on the fence but lean a little more towards the utopian argument. I believe that the Internet of things will bring about some great developments in terms of education. However I feel that if every thing is networked then we are going to loose what it means to live. We are going to no longer be surprised or spontaneous. What will happen if we do know that our bus is going to be 5 minutes late and we sleep for that extra 5 minutes. I am leaning towards the notion of the butterfly effect, and although that is a bit crazy, so is the internet!

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