The digital world profoundly shapes how we work and consume and
also how we play, socialize, create identities, and engage in
politics and civic life. Indeed, we are so enmeshed in digital
networks-from social media to cell phones-that it is hard to
conceive of them from the outside or to imagine an alternative, let
alone defy their seemingly inescapable power and logic. Yes, it is
(sort of) possible to quit Facebook. But is it possible to
disconnect from the digital network-and why might we want to?
Off the Network is a fresh and authoritative
examination of how the hidden logic of the Internet, social media,
and the digital network is changing users' understanding of the
world-and why that should worry us. Ulises Ali Mejias also suggests
how we might begin to rethink the logic of the network and question
its ascendancy. Touted as consensual, inclusive, and pleasurable,
the digital network is also, Mejias says, monopolizing and
threatening in its capacity to determine, commodify, and
commercialize so many aspects of our lives. He shows how the
network broadens participation yet also exacerbates disparity-and
how it excludes more of society than it includes.
Uniquely, Mejias makes the case that it is not only necessary to
challenge the privatized and commercialized modes of social and
civic life offered by corporate-controlled spaces such as Facebook
and Twitter, but that such confrontations can be mounted from both
within and outside the network. The result is an uncompromising,
sophisticated, and accessible critique of the digital world that
increasingly dominates our lives.
Subjects: Political Science, Technology
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