Extentions and amputations

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I would like to focus in McLuhan’s idea that every new technology is an extension of human body but on the other hand it makes an amputation. I will try to analyze what kind of extension the internet has been developed for us and which amputation has been done. This analysis could be a helping to think clearly about the future of internet.

I think that the internet has extended many parts of our body; some of them are described below:

Eyes: because we can see many things, situations, news, events, etc using the information that the internet puts in the browser of our PC.

Hands and legs: The internet has extended our legs and hands because now we do not need to move from one place to another to grab in a physical file or to find the information that we need. We neither need to go to a travel agency to buy airline tickets; nor to walk to the grocery or bookshop to buy neither food nor books. For instance we can also compare prices of an iPod from different stores just making clicks and choosing the best deal.

Ears: We can hear all the music we want just making a click, we can hear also what is happening outside just sitting in front of our PC.

The amputations that the internet has been making are not easy to find as the extensions but I would try to describe below from my point of view:

The internet would reduce our level of socialization because more and more we do not need to interact with persons to find our needs, we only deal with machines, mobile phones and web pages. This amputation (behavior amputation) could reduce our capacity of understand others points of view, deal with people, negotiate with others, and so on.

Because we are going to reduce the level of socialization we could reduce our capacity of being impressed by other people problems, we would have the possibility of seeing the world as a film, a film that we are not part of them, we would have our own world, a world in which the protagonists are my PC and me. We would interpret the world using the internet but not by first hand.

So, some questions arise from words above. Are we going to isolate in our own world more and more because the internet? Or are we going to use the internet to make small worlds, in which we make virtual communities with people from different parts of the world?

Miguel Yanes