Winesburg, Ohio: A Modernist Kluge
It is now a matter of fact that the nonlinear, nonhierarchical, and delocalized functioning of the network has transformed the ways that many individuals define themselves, establish themselves in relationships, situate themselves in and apart from communities, and accumulate knowledge about what can be known in and about the world. While today’s most pervasive network — the Internet — facilitates posthumanist demonstrations of the power of ameliorative, (according to theorists Barry Wellman and William J. Mitchell), connectivity, the Internet and the virtual identities and communities it fosters also facilitate far more complex and ambivalent connections. Perhaps unsurprisingly, pundits and journalists have been largely responsible for warning against the network’s potentially negative and even harmful effects. While members of the media increasingly focus on the Internet’s detrimental impact and point to social networking platforms for evidence of the shallow and ultimately false promise of community that networks extend to users, Twitter and Facebook are only the most recent manifestations of the network’s long tradition of fostering users’ inner alienation while enabling their unprecedented connection.
from Gage, M. (2011). Winesburg, Ohio: A Modernist Kluge. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 5(2).