As an internet addict and a social media enthusiast I am super hooked on a BBC documentary called Virtual Revolution on the BBC iPlayer. Created and narrated by Aleks Krotoski, it is an amazing eye-opener on many topics connected to the web such as history of the internet, online security, social networking, online behaviour, future development, and in 4 parts provides more information about the web than I have probably ever known.
Without providing any further spoilers I will just say everybody who has ever been online should watch it. Aleks interviews gurus such as Stephen Fry, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, dana boyd, Al Gore and Mark Zuckerberg, goes to places that normal people don’t go- such as an internet server, and covers issues such as internet addiction, and the changes in human behaviour caused by the use of the web.
A little sneak peak, just for a teaser:
Having said all that, I do hope it sounds cool, because it is; but there is much more- connected to the programme there is a research going on by the BBC UK Labs. Which I personally took and think is valid. Yes it is one of these facebook type personality testes that we all do when we want to procrastinate, but the outcomes of this one will actually further the understanidng of how being online so often and for so long actually changes the way we think and we behave. As society is becoming more and more web-savvy, and as our communications are becoming more and more online-based is it a good thing to know how this affect us as human beings, and whether we develop or… just become online zombies staring at a computer 24/7 as our brains slowly melt under the radiation of the monitor, just like our social contacts and people skills. (a widely shared view by some)
The test is cute. You answer questions, click on pictures, memorize numbers, it is fun and fast. The result is- a web animal. There are 8 of them, and each is in a category between slow vs fast moving, solitary vs social and adaptable vs. specialized. It is like a fun version of the Myers-Briggs, only more fun.
I turned out to be a Web Elk, and here is my description:
Slow-moving – Web Elks like you take their time finding exactly the right morsels of information – just like the real-world elk who carefully browses for shoots and leaves to eat.
Sociable – Real-world elks are social and stay in herds to protect themselves from predators. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.
Specialised – Web Elks perform best when they focus on one thing at a time, rather than trying to multitask. Just as the real-world Elk is perfectly specialised for its environment, you have learned that while the web makes it possible to multitask, it’s not always the best approach.
And here are all the other web-animals that you can be:
Go to the http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/ and find out which one is you, then post a comment, and we can make little herds or flocks of different web-creatures. Enjoy!