Over the past decade, social media has taken the world by fury. Over 90% of the online population in the United States visit social media sites. It’s likely there are other individuals online with a persona similar to ourselves. Online profiles can be viewed as extensions of one’s self or a bridge between our world and a virtual world.
A being with machine like abilities, yet human like characteristics, a hybrid between machine and man that creates the ultimate cyborg. The first image that comes to mind is the image in Terminator represented in figure 1. This is Hollywood’s depiction of a cyborg. It can be more simply defined as a combination between machine and organism, a creature of social reality. Our online presence can be seen as a creature of social reality, while we act as a cybernetic organism.
Twitter is a popular social media site with over 640 million registered visitors. In theory, this means 640 million cyborgs were created, just through Twitter. Celebrities are predominate on Twitter, for they “tweet” a great deal and have a lot of “followers”. Each tweet can be molded from text and photos. A tweet is an extension of one’s self to the digital, cyborg world. For example, celebrity Luke Bryan tweets about a recent hunting trip with his friend Hunter Jobes shown in figure 2. The tweet reads, “Got it done with @HJobes in Iowa! Awesome hunt! Thanks @TheCrushTV #buckcommander #BBD” The first point to draw from this tweet is that Luke Bryan accessed Twitter and created this message himself. It acts as an expression of his thoughts and events that took place that day. Once on Twitter, Luke’s tweet lives; visible to the rest of the world. We learn from his tweet that he went hunting with his friend, Hunter Jobes and he had an awesome time. While Luke’s physical body moves forward toward new memories, his presence remains indefinitely online. The server the data is stored on can be seen as the cyborg brain, though it requires Luke’s organic body and mind to provide new material. The combination of Luke and his Twitter account, a man and machine, creates a cyborg.
The question still remains, where do we draw the line between cyborg, technology, and human? Can we really define our online extensions of ourselves as cyborgs or does a cyborg require both mechanical andorganisms to live physically together? If in fact, we count the social media bridge as a form of a cyborg, our posted thoughts and memories will continue to live in the digital universe man created. Even after our physical bodies have deteriorated and passed along, an artificial version of one’s self would continue to live online. As it stands, thedefinition of a cyborg is still uncertain and varies from person to person. Technological advances will continue to evolve and integrate into our lives, creating a fictional world where a cyborgwill become a common term in society