Recently, I’ve been surfing many of my classmate’s blog posts. Naturally, like with many websites, the content and opinions expressed were all very fascinating. Most of the posts had a personality to them that really spoke for what each of them believed. One of the more interesting topics for me while reading the posts was the theme of internet “openness” and what it meant for the digital world on a global scale. Of all the posts that I had read through, the following three excerpts were three that I found to have a lot of say on the subject.
“In terms of education, being “open” means having access to as many materials as possible as long there is access to the internet. This excerpt is significant because it explains that. I believe open education is crucial in our society because there are so many bright minds out there who can make a difference, but don’t have the opportunity to. Open education allows individuals to connect to our society and access more knowledge. I hope one day that everyone worldwide has a way to reach the internet.” -Nikita Patel
I very much agree with what she is saying here about the importance of education “openness”. The way in which a learning environment that promotes digital sharing across a web could potentially be beneficial for students in the long run. Through this connectivity, young minds will be able to be enriched with new information and data from other minds across the other side of the world. Having a completely “open” system is very difficult to achieve, however, due to certain foreign restriction policies. When considering this concept ideally, the statement brings up a great point for the argument that “working out loud”, as stated in a previous post, builds more connections and promotes collaboration of ideas to achieve a goal. Not only can people from across the globe learn from each other, but they can also discover and explore new concepts, thoughts, and ideas that any one of them may not be able to alone. In the end, these are all great points to claim when advocating for the use of an “open” environment.
“The idea that not everything on the internet is free or open is very true, but I also think this statement is over exaggerated. Today the biggest web corporations use open source including Google, Facebook and Twitter, open source is basically the makers of a program giving the source code for their creation. The writer of the article gives an example of Facebook, yes Facebook has its privacy issues but it still does a pretty good job of allowing openness, there’s about 20-25 open sources available which stretches out about 4 platforms including IOS and Android.” -Adoba Yua
This statement provides some examples some relatively “open” digital environments. As stated by Mr. Yua here, the modern digital age thrives on the usage of social media applications like Google, Twitter, and Facebook (to some extent) to inform the public on global news, weather, politics, and advancements in the fields of science and mathematics. They also allow users to build a connective “network” of people through programs like Google +, Facebook profiles, and Twitter accounts. With this considered, there are some form of concern that I have with this claim, specifically when addressing the “openness” of Facebook. Over this past January Term, I have grown to learn a lot more about what it means to share and surf an “open” digital environment. Programs like Facebook are essentially applications that do to some extent restrict users to what can be available to them. It creates its own environment, and organizes links, advertisements, and social network according to your liking, ultimately creating a personal web environment to the user under their own domain. While the presence of some open sources exist, and the program itself is considered enjoyable for many, the ability to seek out information through the internet is limited by corporate influence. The amount of controlled sharing of content can be of concern when arguing for a more open web, so it is important to look at the facts on both sides of the debate.
“Currently the way many people are using the web is detracting from being able to connect one another in my opinion. People are making items of their work visible, however it does not necessarily indicate that connections are being made. Instead, I think it’s creating more of a niche- with people closing themselves off. Currently governments are still in the process of oppressing individuals from allowing their voices to be heard. These issues are hindering for not just the individuals wanting to share their thoughts and ideas, but for people willing and needing to hear the ideas being held back.” -Anjali Pullarkat
I believe that this statement is interesting as it takes a look at the opposite side of the argument that the web is considered more “open”. It restates the problem with forming an ideal digital world of sharing and connecting content and data among one another. To an extent, I understand where she is coming from in this post as she indicates that the way that many foreign policies work is that they restrict information sharing between its respective citizens and the outside world. The complications of how the internet and worldwide web are both viewed between various countries cannot necessarily be ignored. In an age where corporate control over major web domains are becoming increasingly more common, this is something to think about. Many of these organizations prefer to protect private information from the general public, even though some may even create products that promote public use. While I may not agree completely with the fact that people generally make items of their work visible primarily for self promotion and creating a niche, it is difficult to argue that such an intent is not a reason at all. Nonetheless, I believe that connections are being made with others who have similar interests and can create potential benefits from each other through these works. The internet and the worldwide web, however open it may be, does have its benefits in creating interactive communities in which people can learn, connect, and promote themselves across a global landscape!