The dimensionality of the Internet has yet to be defined, and the principles outlining its space are constantly negotiated through our use of it. With its unique time-/space situation — the fact that it is possible to physically be in one place, and, simultaneously, have access to the entire world —the Internet can potentially have a huge impact on our understanding of our surroundings.
Ideally, the relation between user and network should one of mutual exchange: I co-produce the network through my involvement in it, and it co-produces me through the information, I get from it. But for this to happen, we have to make better use of the potentials of the Internet, and the Internet has to have an interest in this mutual exchange — it has to invest itself in its users, so to speak. In its current form, the Internet, the way I see it, has signed a contract with a Modernist, two-dimensional conception of space. The relation between it and its users is one of subject and object: I can see it as if it were an image, but I cannot feel it, I'm not present in it, the interaction between the medium and I is too weak.
Being a profoundly democratic medium, opening up unprecedented possibilities of self-expression, freedom of the press and access to information, the Internet is not only the source of unlimited access to knowledge, but paradoxically enough also the breeding ground of a general acceptance of a lack of competences. Large social communities such as Facebook, which do not produce or exchange any kind of knowledge, seem to flourish, and because search machines are based on trivial algorithmic principles of recognition, it can be hard to find the qualified, critical voices in the bulk of information.
If the Internet should help us become more consciously involved with the world, it is not enough to just canalise huge amounts of information into society. Search engines should be competence-focused, social networks should relate to competent search engines, and video and search functions should be better integrated. This requires that Google, Yahoo, AOL and the other large companies defining the future of the Internet, provide the medium with enough confidence to operate with self-criticism. The only self-criticism, the Internet is operating with at the moment seems to be the one of the market economy â€“ the most efficient, frequently updated and trimmed sites being the ones where money is changing hands. This is not enough. We have to base our use of the Internet on both trust and scepticism.
In this way, the Internet would not stand outside reality and send information in, rather it would be conceived of as a part of reality, and thus the distinction between subject and object would dissolve, and we would experience the Internet as if it were a three-dimensional space. The Internet would become a reality producing machine.