Week 11: Kirschenbaum “Distant Mirrors and the LAMP”

1. “My dearest friends, there was. no. Google. You Yahooed—there’s no shame, we all did…” (Kirschenbaum).

I find this statement hilarious. What is a world without Google? Today, we rely SO heavily on Google, we almost cannot function without it. Remember that day a few weeks ago when the wifi was broken on campus? Think about how many times that day you couldn’t remember something or you had a question that you didn’t know the answer to, so you pulled up the Internet on your computer or phone to be reminded there was no connection available. Remember how frustrating that was? Imagine there being no Google everyday. It’s ridiculous to think about how much that would bother us. I feel like people are picky when it comes to what search engine they use. I know I only use Google just because I think it is sleeker. I think Kirschenbaum picks up on this because he reassures people that there’s no shame in using Yahoo, as it was something we all did because we had to (Kirschenbaum).

2. “…blogs and Twitter co-exist with one another in powerful mutually enabling ways” (Kirschenbaum).

I think this is very true. Today, there are not many bloggers that don’t list their social media on their blogs. Twitter is another platform where readers can interact and follow bloggers, as well as see any additional information the blogger posts on Twitter. Some bloggers may also link their blog or their blog posts on Twitter for easy access for their readers and followers, or to notify their followers that they have a blog. There are a few blogs that I occasionally read, but I don’t subscribe to them. Instead I either go to the blog to see if there is any new content or I follow the blogger on Twitter, and check there to see if they have linked any new posts.

3. Kirschenbaum brings up the question of how do we decide who we follow, and who we allow to follow us on social media? I think this is a great question. I have gotten friend requests on social media from people I have met once, people I have never met but we know of each other through mutual friends, and people I have come to know and would consider us friends online and in real life. I am also not friends with people on Facebook that I know well in real life simply because I don’t use Facebook as much anymore and I am too lazy to add them. I think a lot of young people seriously contemplate whom they should add on Facebook and follow on other platforms, and what it means if they add a person too soon after they first meet. Kirschenbaum says anyone who contemplates his or her relationships on social media so seriously probably has far bigger life problems, which I think it somewhat true. However, I think teenagers and young adults take their social media friendships so seriously because it is the age in which they grew up.

How would you cope if Google, Yahoo, and every other search engine permanently stopped working? Would you panic, experience a sense of relief, calmness?

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “Distant Mirrors and the LAMP.” MLA Commons.

Commons.mla.org, 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.


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