By: Miffy Lu
WHEN DIGITAL MEDIA VIRTUALIZES OUR LIFE
WHAT IS REAL?
A digital image contains a fixed number of rows
and columns of pixels. And that thousands or
millions of pixels form into graphic images we
see on digital devices every day. 
Digital video is audio/ visual in a binary
format. Information is presented as a
sequences of digital data, rather than in a
continuous signal as analog information is. 
The SOCIAL MEDIA
*Global internet user spent average 118 minutes per day on social networking in 2016 according to Statista. 
Social media are platforms that facilitate the
creation and sharing of information, ideas, career
interests and other forms of expression via
virtual communities and networks.
*Especially that users frequently add images and
videos to enrich their online profile.
*Worldwide, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users for
March 2017 (Facebook MAUs) which is an 18 percent increase year over year.
*Five new profiles are created every second.
*Photo uploads total 300 million per day.
*Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted,
293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.
*Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes.
The TOP FIVE
UPDATED MAY, 2017
“Photography is a kind of
virtual reality, and it helps if
you can create the illusion of
being in an interesting world.”
- Steven Pinker
*The act of checking social media is found
to be stressful and is bad for mental health.
61% of people have said that social media
makes them depressed, jealous or sad.  
Not only social media users digitalized their everyday
experience by posting photos and videos online, majority of them
seem to be obsessed with showing off their lives, so the whole world
will know they live a perfect, happy life.  
We are living in a world of
A world that has become so reliant on models and
counterfeits in which these imitations of reality
have become more real than reality itself.
Baudrilled’s notion of hyperreality refers to a
statement that people have allowed themselves to be
blinded from true reality where the world has been
replaced instead with simulations of the real that are
perceived by humans. And that the replacements
have become more real than true reality itself. 
For example, believing the life that has shown on
Instagram is the actual life.
Are we becoming confused in a digital world by accident?
Are we trying hard to get confused on purpose?
ARE THESE REAL?
These living velociraptors are the
effects of post-production. They
are never alive. Yet with the
support of modern technologies,
actors are able to “interact” with
these dreadful creatures.
Through the magic of videos effects and technology,
one can superimpose your subjects onto virtual
backgrounds, place them over animated digital
backdrops or transport them to a desert oasis. 
The MOVIE CULTURE
Filmmakers make movies with rich characters who
have superhuman capabilities and living perfect lives.
Through the movie, the viewers can transport
themselves into a fantasy.
Scholars reflecting on special effects, especially in the
period since digital media made their biggest impact on
movie production and postproduction, have derived
much of their inspiration from phenomenology.
Between the annihilation of reality and the affirmation of
the phenomena of human experience, the study of special
effects, though nascent, is already beginning to alter our
preconceptions of the nature and purpose of film.
Taking a more culturally oriented approach, scholars
stresses the interplay between themes and cultural
trends. For example, the connections between special
effects cinema, theme parks, and such phenomena as
Las Vegas casino hotels and some forms of sports. 
Engineers make the impossible adventures possible.
Filmmakers make the impossible adventures possible.
We are able to experience the story together with a protagonist.
We are able to experience the story as a protagonist.
Digital Experience is an
evolving term that describes the experiences an
individual may have with an organization at any
digital touchpoint. Whether that be a website,
mobile app, wearable device, or a smart watch. 
A: AUGMENTED REALITY
Ex. POKEMON GO
Augmented Reality (AR) places digital
content on top of the physical world
you see around you.
AR works by adding 2D or 3D layered
content on top of real world objects or
locations, allowing the users to unlock
additional information that mat be
relevant, therefore turning the physical
world around them into digital media.
Right now the majority of AR is used on
mobile devices, tablets and integrated
into mobile apps. 
For example, Pokemon GO
B: VIRTUAL REALITY
Ex. PLAYSTATION 4 VR Headset
Virtual Reality redefines user’s expectations of
immersion in gaming with moments so intense
your intuition takes over. It allows users to
step into virtual worlds and experience
entertainment in new and extraordinary ways.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a digital environment
that shuts our the real world. VR is able to
transpose the user; to bring us someplace else.
Through closed visors or googles, VR blocks
our the room and puts our presence elsewhere.
HOW MAINSTREAM IS VIRTUAL REALITY?
Education: theBlu – Under Water Experience
Entertainment: Wonderland’s VR Coaster
History: VR Art Exhibition at the New Museum
Technology is proliferating throughout the
art industry in an effort to further
accessibility to galleries and museums. 
Cornell said, “among the first to
consider one’s mobile device as a
platform not just to enhance the gallery
experience but to experience art.”
Take the British Museum’s online archive of 360-
degree views of its collections, for example.
A+B: MIXED REALITY
Ex. Project- XRay
Mixed Reality is the next big paradigm shift.
Mix Reality works by scanning your physical
environment and creating a 3D map of user’s
surroundings, so the device will know exactly
where and how to place digital content into that
space, and allow user to interact with it using
Mixed Reality is a hybrid of both AR and VR.
“When I saw how real virtual reality can be, and
that we can replace human vision with virtual
vision, this can be the ultimate platform.”
- Brendan Iribe
• Virtual world technologies redefine the idea of
communication. it expands the communication in real life to
anyone connected to the internet.
• Many different field can use Virtual World devices to train
people in a way that would usually put them at risk.
• Those who are not able to fully experience reality, such as
disabled people, could explore the virtual world and still
experience a full life.
• Virtual World provides a chance to experience things that
are impossible in real life as if you were actually there.
Ex. Fighting zombies in a game 
• Those who do not have access or cannot afford this
technology will be left out. And could further separate social
classes in Information Age based societies.
• Communication using this technology would be susceptible
• Many people may become addicted to living in these virtual
worlds, and as a result forget or neglect their
responsibilities in real life.
• Technologies is still developing and there are still many
flaws to be worked to.
• Some people have been known to have motion sickness due
to using the technologies. 
Social Media is a platform for users to digitalize and share their experiences. However, as a great amount of
social media users are trying to make their life look perfect, the sharing platform has become an arena for
users to show off and compete with each other. And yet users take the cover story seriously and believe the
lives which are portrayed online are perfect and real. According to Baudrilled, we are now living in a world
of unreality. It may seem like we are lost in modern world. Yet we are living in a world of unreality on
purpose. That is, people are craving to live and experience fantasy as a protagonist, and that engineers are
working on projects to make the dream happen. With the technologies such as AR, VR and MR. It is certain
that the ideal virtual world is becoming possible year by year. However, as we are cheering on the
improvements of technologies, we also have to pay attention on the cons of future digital devices.
While technologies are able to enrich our experience, they are also able
to deprive every piece of our life.
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 Turkle, Sherry. “The Documented Life.” New York Times, 16 Dec. 2013, p. A25(L). Academic OneFile.
 Statista. “Daily Time Spent on Social Networking by Internet Users Worldwide from 2012 to 2016 (in minutes.)” Statista. 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.
 Zephoria. “The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics – Updated May 2017” Zephoria. 08 May. 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.
 Darbyshire, D. “Don’t Judge a (Face)Book by its Cover” Computers in Human Behaviour. May. 2016.
 konnikova, Maria. “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy.” The New Yorker. 10 Sep. 2013. Web. 01 Jun. 2017.
 Jade. The obsession of Creating a Picture Perfect Life on Social Media. EliteReaders. 02 March. 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.
 Matrix, Sidneyeve. “Online Friends.”Module2. 08 May. 2017. Lecture.
 MeQuilibrium. “How Your Device is Controlling You.” The Huffington Post. The HuffingtonPost.com, 04. 2013. Web. 12 May 2017
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 Cubitt, Sean. “Special Effects – Theoretical Considerations” Film Reference. 2017. Web. 01 Jun. 2017.
 Acquia. “Digital Experiences Run the Web.” Acquia Think Ahead. 2017.
 Cole, Samantha. “How The Apple Watch Will Change Office Life.” First Company. 12 March. 2015. Web. 01 Jun. 2017.
 Curtin, Keith. “Mixed Reality will be most important tech of 2017.” TNW Conference. 05 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Jun. 2017.
 Gottschalk, Molly. “New App Finally Makes Virtual Reality Artworks Accessible to the Public.” Artsy Editorial. 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 01 Jun. 2017.
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