Relationship between Digitalisation and Life Assignment | Custom Assignment Help


I need a paper that outlines the effects of digitalization on the world right now. However, I need them to focus especially on how technology plays a significant role in the world nowadays and how everything is changing due to digitalization. The importance of technology can not be undermined however, the writer owns opinion can not be part of the paper. It should only focus on the information picked out from the sources and deliver a paper that outlines how strong digitalization and technology affect the world especially human life.

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Received: 31 October 2008 / Accepted: 25 September 2009 / Published online: 30 October 2009
Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009
Abstract Digitalization reveals the world in new varieties
and forms. This power to unveil not only transforms human
outreach and actions, but also changes our conceptions;
about whom we are, about our uses and about human
horizons for sense-making. In this paper, I explore experience
design and the aesthetic turn in contemporary research
in human–computer interaction and interaction design. This
rather recent interest in aesthetic experience is in my view a
move away from a view of digitalization as instances of
objects aligned in networks, with certain features, qualities
and properties, towards an understanding of digitalization
as a relation to the world, to itself, and to what it means to be
human (e.g. Technology and the character of contemporary
life. A philosophical inquiry. The University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, 1984, Holding on to reality. The nature of
information at the turn of the millennium. The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1999; Questioning technology.
Routledge, New York, 1999; The question concerning
technology and other essays. Harper and Row, New York,
1977; Technology and the lifeworld, from garden to earth.
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1990). As such my
attempt in this text is to outline a conceptual account concerning
what it might mean to designate digitalization as
experienced rather than as what we traditionally think of
it—as a cause of what we perceive. The paper is based on
some previous work suggesting that a focus on the beauty of
digitalization (i.e. the beast) entails the possibility to
investigate ambiguous meanings of digitalization, meanings
that are intrinsic to digitalization but have so far received
little or no attention. My suggestion is that there are aesthetic
and/or sublime dimensions inherent in digitalization
that involves the realization of meaning that are becoming
increasingly important in both use and design of digital
materials. Hence, the particular focus on aesthetics as
implied by the title of this text refers to a pervasive quality
harbouring meaning that through a phenomenological lens
could be regarded as the material basis of digitalization.
The paper concludes that it is crucial to conduct more
thorough studies of the relationship between aesthetics and
digitalization if we are truly interested in exploring the
potential of digitalization in our lives.
1 Digitalization as lifeworld
We are witnessing a shift in human attention, from physical
to dynamic instances in which digital and physical blends
emerge. Less than 20 years ago, few could imagine that
advanced social movements could appear real time on a
global scale. Today, it is not strange at all that people share
common grounds, socializing daily in virtual environments.
At the same time, we are not totally at ease with the
idea that most physical object (like for instance handbags,
tables and books) will be afforded digital connections to
the Internet and/or the rest of the digital world. But, digitalization
is increasingly approaching, advancing and
embracing the physical, affording the virtual to everything
possible to digitize.
As digitalization pervades the everyday and becomes
embedded in our lives various researchers have emphasized
the need for addressing qualities of digitalization that
go beyond connotations of precision, correctness and
authority. That is, instead of fostering us with a sense of
the digital as a given, it is increasingly asserted that the
meaning of digitalization should be regarded open,
dynamic, multiperspectival and unfinalizable (Dourish
A. C. Fors (&)
Department of Informatics, Umea° University, Umea°, Sweden
123between the kitchen chair and the payroll system
at work and there is no real relation between the
television in the living room and the form you fill out at the
bank. In our everyday life, we make distinct divisions
between particular objects and systems in order to be able
to talk, discuss and argue about them. Nevertheless, at an
intuitive level, most people acknowledge that the lifeworld
is one and the same, and as such always perceived in a
holistic and immediate way (Stolterman and Croon Fors
2008; McCarthy and Wright 2004).
This common belief contradicts most scientific ways of
describing reality based on the assumption that it can only
be understood by a thorough analysis of its smallest components.
Since any meaning making is a constant ‘struggle’
with a changing reality and digitalization embeds most
aspects of our lives, the world increasingly becomes
impregnated by, with and through the digital. Therefore,
my claim is that digitalization also should be acknowledged
as a part of a process and as an important part in the
dialogical encounter of otherness.
Our tools have become a life environment; increasingly
we are incorporated into the apparatus we have
created and subordinated to be rhythms and demands.
(Feenberg 1995, p. 25)
Hence, as digitalization becomes a major and significant
configuration in people’s lives the lifeworld is also subject
to significant shifts. This is also acknowledged by
contemporary research on interaction design (ID) and
human–computer interaction (HCI). In what follows, I
would like to address two recent interrelated turns and
shifts of attention in ID and HCI forming the backdrop to
my considerations about digitalization as lifeworld and the
matter of meaning in digitalization.
The first turn is related to the emerging field often referred
to as user experience design or experience design (Shedroff
2001). Redstro¨m(2006) describes this turn as a shift from the
design of objects to the design of users. Research within this
area is among other things oriented towards health, entertainment,
computer games and digital media. Among other
things, the increased interest in users and their experiences
can be understood in the light of designs failing to get
approval by users and situations where the intended use of
design does not translate in to actual use. The second shift of
attention is the aesthetic turn (Petersen et al. 2004; McCarthy
and Wright 2004, 2008; Udsen and Jørgensen 2005; Tractinsky
and Hassenzahl 2005), which among other things
promotes curiosity, engagement and imagination in the
exploration of interactive systems. But the aesthetic turn is
also as much about paying attention to what the person brings
to the experience as what is encountered in the dialogical
relationship with the interactive system (McCarthy and
Wright 2004; Wright et al. 2008).
The endorsement of these two shifts dates back to the
1990s when various researchers and early cultural critics
started to acknowledge the sensuous, experiential and
tangible aspects of digitalization (Benedikt 1991; Heim
1987; Laurel 1993; Turkle 1995). Today, the interest in
experience design and aesthetic experience has spread to
established research and design practices, informing
knowledge production and shaping our digital lifeworld
(e.g. Ess 1999; Kazmierczak 2003; Odshourn and Pinch
2005; Rasmussen 2007; Redstro¨m 2006 and Turner 2008).
But although the ideal is driven by the insight and need of
challenging functional and goal-oriented assumptions, the
two turns still grapples with great anticipation to offer
solutions to specific problems in both research and design
practice. Hence, although the two shifts undoubtedly
indicate a new awareness of the wide-ranging dimensions
of digitalization, only a few accounts have so far been
elaborated in which digitalization as lifeworld can be
encountered as a whole.
Interest in the reflective levels of digitalization is often
found in explorations into how cultural influences lead to
variations in people’s behaviour and practice, and also in
exploration concerning how such variations should be
considered in design (e.g. Dourish 2001; Ess 1999;
McCarthy and Wright 2004; Wright et al. 2008; Redstro¨m
2001; Tractinsky 1997, Tractinsky et al. 2000; Turner
2008). Redstro¨m’s (2001, 2006, 2008) work is one example
of the emerging interest in the subjective, aesthetic, experiential
aspects of digitalization and his work is also
indicative of the design approach that often accompanies
this interest. Such interest leads both to a critical questioning
of core metaphors in design and to various attempts
to invert such metaphors in order to bring what has been
marginalized to the centre of attention in design. The idea
is to build interactive systems in such a way that they
support critical reflection and engage users in collaborative
production of meaningfulness. But it is also important to
understand that if we are interested in accounting for lived
experiences of digitalization aesthetic experience is also
closely related to a particular ability, potentiality and/or
quality to transform our lives (Croon Fors 2006). To this
end, we need to become more sensitive to particular
aspects of digitalization and particular aspects of experiences
where meaningfulness is anticipated. In that respect,
McCarthy and Wright (2004) lead the way, emphasizing
that becoming aware of and/or constructing a self is a
particularly salient feature of making sense of aesthetic
experiences. Hence, in order to appreciate digitalization
aesthetically, we need to pay attention to a particular
response that is formed in relation to digitalization.
That is, a response in which that sense of something new
and different and other emerges in our relationship to

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