Sunday, February 11th, 2007
I’m seriously suffering from post-surgery cabin fever.
Actually, while sarcasm is characteristic, I did ponder the relevance of the term in today’s technological world. Can cabin fever flourish in a home where computer games and virtual worlds exist that can fulfill the need for activity beyond one’s own natural bounds–i.e., environment or physical limitations? Ability is there to play any sport, explore any imagined world, build your own cities, fly without benefit of capsule or wings. Is the boundary then one of mental state as the term “cabin fever” has truly implied in its resulting behavior?
On the flip side, could cabin fever symptoms be reproduced even more readily by withdrawal of internet access?
Changing world aside, I apologize for an apparent lack of sympathy.
I would hazard a statement that “Cabin Fever” most certainly can be induced by withdrawal of internet access. A prolonged exposure to this resource can lead being cut off from it to be a very disconcerting experience indeed, particularly when, for example such a cut-off is sudden and unexpected. That cabins are often in secluded segments of the world which may not have internet access leads one to believe that such a location could induce a mental state of distress.
We’re also, I believe, starting to see a trend of what I just mentioned to Steve towards depersonalization of weblogging through rss feeds, and it ties in with this same thought that our new circle of friends have become people we have never met. This is what brought weblogging much of its allure–the communication with others (aside from the main concept of just wanting to be vocal to an unhearing society). If in fact, even as we step away from face to face contact we are then severed from our tether via internet to ‘friends,’ then I think it may become a sociological issue.
A quick note for your CW students: Just had one of those glorious “ahah!” moments in rereading my second comment. Flying via capsule can mean many things, yet I hadn’t even thought of that at the time. Word choice often comes to us seemingly out of the blue–but somewhere in our brain there’s a little gnome making the appropriate connections.
Perhaps depersonalization is at hand, but then again there are various weblog sites and services which allow one to filter their entries according to who (in most cases, exactly who) they do, and do not wish to view individual entries. It is entirely possible to communicate solely with people that one knows face-to-face in these mediums, as it is to communicate entirely with people that one has never met before.
I would agree with you that a circle of friends can grow to encompass, or perhaps even consist entirely of people one has never met face-to-face, but in an increasingly online society, the importance of face-to-face and physical contact seem to lose meaning.
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