The concept that interested me most in Varieties of Cyberspace was zero-order ontological cyberspace. The idea that there is an ontological difference for us when we interact with computer and Internet technology may sound obtuse, but it makes a certain amount of sense. If we see ontology as the science of being, or more specifically, an account of a certain frame of mind, it starts to make more sense. As we talked of in class, your frame of mind while talking on the phone is much different than if you are driving a car, a comparison can be made to how athletes get into a very focused and powerful “flow” when performing at peak ability. The ontological feedback loop when using a computer can be seen when trying to look up something on the Internet, while at the same time closely reading a book, it’s annoying and difficult.
If engaging with digital technology puts us in a different ontological space, than this could lead to problematic issues. The ontology of Internet cyberspace is one of immersion and passivity. When we enter cyberspace we are immersed in, and transfixed by, an ocean of stimuli coming at us from a variety of directions. It is almost impossible to ground us at one certain place and examine it critically, when there is so much else on the web to be consumed. With the expansion of Internet access into the mobile realm, the ability to immerse is not hindered by the need of a bulky desktop computer. If this process continues, then our ability to engage with the world in a rigorous and careful manner may be curtailed.