The, A Fusion Of Animal And Machine

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In You Are a Cyborg (Harl, Kunzru, 2013), Donna Haraway claims that humans are cyborgs; “a fusion of animal and machine”. Not robots like artificial intelligence Ava in Ex Machina (Garland, 2015), but cybernetic organisms or information machines. Haraway’s cyborg claim rests on a complex interaction between humans and technology and how this interaction is not co-existing with one another, but as humans and technology incorporating one another. The Dictionary of Sociology defines cyborg as a, “growing integration of human beings into mechanical systems” (2012). Following Haraway’s claim, I am a cyborg when I use technology, and more specifically when I use the social media application Instagram. Instagram is a social networking application…show more content…
On Instagram users scroll through a “home feed”, refresh an “explore page”, or “like” other user’s pictures or videos. This user to user interaction on Instagram is not typical face to face communication because Instagram tracks when the interaction took place, what happened in the interaction, the time, the place, and so on and so forth. In this form of communication, it is not only the direct parties involved who experience the interaction, but a third party is gathering information based on the details of the interaction. As an Instagram user, I am a cybernetic organism, because I am associated with the vast network of profiles, companies, and advertising on Instagram and therefore subject to the gathering of information. Next, Instagram uses the detailed information on its users to create an “updated model of a changing situation- a synthesis of information collected, analyzed, evaluated and assembled” (Licklider & Taylor, 1968). Instagram takes in the information from its’ users, analyzes it, and redistributes it back through the form of, for example, an “explore page”. This means Instagram has created a feedback system based on what users like, comment or share with our friends. When I go on the “explore” page on Instagram it is not just random profiles, but a precise scientific algorithm based on the people I follow, posts I like, my geographical location, and more. As I change my interests or habits, Instagram has the ability
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