Team 3 Keywords

Accessibility means that a number of other persons can read what a given person writes (34). A blog, your Facebook page, any forum or wiki can be considered highly accessible simply because other users are able to view your information and text. The concept of accessibility is not necessarily novel, however it does represent just how available your information is to other people. This could be of high importance or little significance to you, but you decide (at least for now) what information you put “out there.” Accessibility will most likely evolve into a large topic of debate as our technological norms spiral towards varying levels of censorship.

Permanence refers to the longevity of a given bit of writing. Both accessibility and permanence are increased when people connect to the Internet (34). Shirky speaks of Seoul, South Korea as being the most connected nation on earth. His claim is supported by the example of the pre-teen girls staging a nonviolent protest to the American beef industry.

Cognitive surplus is the idea that because technology is changing, we now have free time. Something that, historically, we never had before. As we gain more and more free time, we come up with new ways to spend it. With the advent of new technology, it is easier to spend this time connecting with other individuals in a digital community setting. These new methods for interacting provide unlimited potential for new actions.

Social Surrogacy is the idea that one of the negative effects of television is a diminished amount of face-to-face interaction among people. Jim Fowlers, author of Why Viewers Watch, claims “television viewing has come to displace principally (a) other diversions, (b) socialization, (c) sleep.” Shirky says that watching television is society’s most “embraced optional activity.” There are two parts to social surrogacy. First, we have replaced all other uses of free time with watching TV, meaning that time with family and friends is forgone to make room for more television. This means that all extracurricular activities are replaced with watching television. Second, the people we watch on television make up a set of imaginary friends. Shirky explains that people feel less lonely when they’re watching they’re favorite programs. More than that, since people can watch TV alone, and because TV makes the viewers feel less lonely, it has a universal appeal. Finally, once a television is installed in a home, you don’t have to pay to watch hours upon hours of television.

Participatory culture is a term that was developed after the twentieth century. An overarching definition is a society in which the citizens actively interact and communicate in a face-to-face environment. It refers to a culture in which face-to-face interaction is a central theme or cultural norm. The term is relatively recent and can be attributed to society’s recent focus on technology. Now that technology has become a central component in the daily life of a majority of the population, face-to-fact interaction is diminishing. The term “participatory culture” was coined to reference the period of time when face-to-face interaction, such as potlucks, town meetings, etc., was central to community life. Now that society has turned toward technologies as a basis for interaction, a “participatory culture” has become almost outdated. The increased dependency on technology is not a new concept, yet because of it our social norms have changed, making a “participatory culture” a thing of the past.