Square eyed and Virtual – A Vision of the Information Age?

Pat Jefferies and Fiaz Hussain


UK society seems to be increasingly encouraged, through a variety of agencies, to make the Internet an integral part of its everyday life with little regard, it appears, to many of the ethical and social implications this may have. Such encouragement is coming from a variety of sources aimed at cultivating the social and cultural climate for the adoption of the WWW as well as from the advancement and convergence of current technology. This paper seeks to raise some of the ethical issues and concerns which, it seems, must be carefully considered by society as a whole before it commits itself totally to the ‘technological vision’ of the future. Such issues will include exploring the notion that there may be a danger of society becoming ‘squared eyed and virtual’ by becoming dependent on the WWW technology as the mediator for much of its interaction. Other concerns will include consideration of possible threats to identity, fragmentation and isolation as a result of interacting through virtual technologies as well as addressing some of the other ethical considerations such as privacy and accessibility.