The Internet is not -yet- providing us with a so fluid communication that allows us to see ‘literally see what the other means’ (Cyberia: 140). And we have not replaced -yet- people by avatars in personal interactions. However, Scifi is plenty of both cases. Interactions delegated upon a virtual reality vehicle: films like Matrix or Avatar, or comics like the Surrogates. Remove the picturesque vision of an Earth dominated by machines or of a planet full of blue people, and you’ll have the Internet. People interacting through virtual identities built for the Internet.
Time ago the human gender has become a Cyborg thanks to the integration of technological devices as plug&play extensions of our body. Donna Haraway advanced this fact more than 20 years ago:
‘By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs. This cyborg is our ontology’ (Haraway, Cyborg Manifesto 1991: pág. 150)
Weird? Could you feed and dress up yourself without a credit card? Do you use car, bus or underground? Would you voluntarily live without a mobile phone? Think about that. These devices are part of us. Our definition as a postmodern human being is not complete without them. Not yet convinced? What about glasses or contact lenses?
We thought about Cyborgs as someone who replaces legs for wheels or connects an infrared camera directly to his brain instead of eyes or… this guy to the right, who is supposed to be the first Cyborg ever. I don’t think so! Would you accept to visit the surgeon each time you change your mobile phone? It is much easier to keep it in your pocket than connect it to your brain. But this doesn’t’ mean you are not equally dependant on the device. That your life has already changed by that.
We already are Cyborgs. This is our ontology.