Living in the 21st Century?

Living in the 21st Century?

The ease of use that social media provides to users is one of the most familiar hallmarks of digital activity at the beginning of the 21st century.  The seeming paradox of being surrounded by people, yet feeling as if you are completely isolated from everyone and everything around you is even more complicated now – with social networks that require that we are away from other people and in front of a computer screen or mobile device, the possibility to stream movies at any time and in any location means the “world” of entertainment can come to us, and our iPods and MP3 Players encourage a world of musically sponsored seclusion.  The arts have traditionally been understood as a way for human beings to come closer to understanding themselves, as well as a means of relating to other human beings through the shared experience that music, conversation, or communities can all foster.  Do the arts still have the capacity to bring people together, or is it impossible to go back to a time when participation in the arts has become an inwardly directed activity?  Using specific claims from the assigned texts, how would you define the relationship between the arts and digital technology?  Is it possible to strike a healthy balance between the personal space of an individual mind and the shared experiences that participation in the arts would seem to demand, or are we doomed to be “alone, together?”

Alone with Others?

Alone with Others?

 

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