Digital life is real life

From Superconnected, Chapter 1:

Internet connectedness is a reflection of the ways in which social factors like socioeconomic status, educational background, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc., play out in the physical world. This is because the online, digital world is not a separate entity from the offline, physical world. It is part of it.

Online activity can make more visible and amplify concerns, problems, and divisions that are part of social life in physical space, and it can raise concern about new issues, too. But the digital world is in every way real and is deeply integrated with everyday lived experiences and with the future of our societies—and ourselves—which makes it critically important to examine and understand.

Though obstacles remain to worldwide digital access and to the full realization of the potential of these technologies for all, the internet and digital media still afford tremendous opportunities for social connectedness and social change. They have become embedded in nearly every facet of modern life, including cities, cars, home appliances, lighting and heating products, and health and lifestyle monitoring.

In all kinds of spaces, from the global to the local and everything in between, individuals and their communities and societies have become interconnected, their lives dramatically affected, their environments increasingly saturated with technology. So in the end, the title of this book seems appropriate . . . because to an extent previously unimagined, and with the almost unlimited potential for further integration, the world has indeed become technologically and socially superconnected.

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