Response to The Net Delusion

The internet is the world’s largest network. Everyone in the world uses it for any purpose; to buy and sell things through the Internet with Amazon.com, communicate with others with E-mail, and to use various search engines for personal gain with Google. From what I see with the internet, it is clearly a very useful tool for everyone around the world. But after reading Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion, I felt very discouraged to put any information on the internet because of all of the data tracking, and serious lack of privacy. So, I sort of lost my optimism in the internet due to all of the flaws that the internet has. But at the same time, I’m going to use the internet regardless because it is used every day of our lives. People use the internet to apply for jobs, internships, and colleges. So it’s merely impossible to not use the internet for every day purposes.

What interested me was that Morozov uses this term that I have never heard of before: “cyber-utopianism.” According to Morozov, “cyber-utopianism” is “a naïve belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to acknowledge its downside”(p. xiii). Morozov uses this term to coincide with Clay Shirky’s discussion of the “LolCat” in Chapter 3, Orwell’s Favorite Lolcat. In Cognitive Surplus, Shirky discusses the meanings and the ideologies behind the Lolcat pictures people post all over the internet. These “LolCat” pictures appear to be funny and/or cute, but Morozov muses that posting pictures like this on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site relates to propaganda. Morozov says “While it is tempting to encourage everyone to flock to social networking sites and blogs to avoid the control of the censors, it would also play into the hands of those in charge of surveillance and propaganda.” This is one of the reasons why I lost optimism in the internet because of acts like this.

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