Reading Response #2 John Mackin The Death of the Cyber Flaneur

A flaneur back in the days before the Internet, referred to someone who was anonymous. Some who watched, wondered, and strolled through society un-noticed. The flaneur was an observer of society. As the Internet developed the cyber flaneur flourished. At the beginning of the Internet days, users were able to “surf the web” unnoticed. With the emergence of Google and Facebook this completely destroyed the idea of being un-noticed on the Internet. Facebook made everything “social”, everything thing you do online know has your name connected to it, you cannot go online unnoticed as easily. Google managed to destroy the idea of “surfing the web”, Google allows to find everything you need without every going to another site to find something.

This directly relates to what we spoke about in lecture about new media. The impacts of these new media sources like Google and Facebook. We do not live in a vacuum, our world is constantly being affected by new sources of media. The cyber flaneur was affected by the new media drastically. If Facebook and Google never came about, we may have seen this idea of a cyber flaneur flourish even more.

I feel like this idea of a cyber flaneur relates to this Internet hacking group named Anonymous. I come across this group online quite a bit these days and watched their movie on Netflix. This group got their name from a website named fourchan, where you can post anything anonymously. The low-key, unfiltered, randomness traits of this online group make me think of them as the modern day Cyber flaneur.