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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY vastly expanding every year with the growth of hypermediated technologies, each one impacting perceptions of reality in a different way. Other characteristics identified by Barbatsis (1999) for hypermedia are the limited physical space of personal relationship viewing and two-dimensional plane restriction created by interaction through the screen. This limitation can be seen in both mobile phones and Internet media platforms, where the experience of a hypermediated reality is restricted to the confines of the screen, whether it be 2” wide or 52” wide. This in turn affects how heavy users of hypermedia technology perceive the offline world around them. Her concepts of contingency and amalgamation address the polychronic experience that happens when hypermedia users engage in hypermedia realities. According to Barbatsis (1999), contingency and amalgamation occur “much in the way our eyes build an image, by darting from one visual field to another, linking builds an associative rather than a sequential experience (Hunter, 1994), and one that is open rather than closed” (p. 5). For example, a social networking site that has interactive features like hyperlinks to other websites, friend’s pages, photos or videos creates a polychronic sense of time where continuous loops and layers are created to continuously draw in the user’s attention. One of the main characteristics of hypermedia is its control of time and space (Barbatsis, 1999). Hypermediated fragments of time, by discriminating an atomic unit, create what might be called an "arbitrary instance." Perceptually, they structure an experience of an arrested rather than a dynamic instant. Unique to digital fragmentation, this instant is discontinuous and differentiated. As distinct from the temporal qualities of either film or television, which also disrupt time, this property of hypermedia structures an experience of fundamental arbitrariness. (Barbatsis, 1999, p. 9) Therefore, when time is arrested hypermedia creates the potential to create instantaneous as while as simultaneous actions through media. This control of time Barbatsis (1999) refers to as 16

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY
vastly expanding every year with the growth of hypermediated technologies, each one impacting 
perceptions of reality in a different way.
Other characteristics identified by Barbatsis (1999) for hypermedia are the limited 
physical space of personal relationship viewing and two-dimensional plane restriction created by 
interaction through the screen.  This limitation can be seen in both mobile phones and Internet 
media platforms, where the experience of a hypermediated reality is restricted to the confines of 
the screen, whether it be 2” wide or 52” wide.  This in turn affects how heavy users of 
hypermedia technology perceive the offline world around them.  Her concepts of contingency 
and amalgamation address the polychronic experience that happens when hypermedia users 
engage in hypermedia realities.  According to Barbatsis (1999), contingency and amalgamation 
occur “much in the way our eyes build an image, by darting from one visual field to another, 
linking builds an associative rather than a sequential experience (Hunter, 1994), and one that is 
open rather than closed” (p. 5).  For example, a social networking site that has interactive 
features like hyperlinks to other websites, friend’s pages, photos or videos creates a polychronic 
sense of time where continuous loops and layers are created to continuously draw in the user’s 
attention.
One of the main characteristics of hypermedia is its control of time and space (Barbatsis, 
1999).  
Hypermediated fragments of time, by discriminating an atomic unit, create what might be 
called an "arbitrary instance." Perceptually, they structure an experience of an arrested 
rather than a dynamic instant. Unique to digital fragmentation, this instant is 
discontinuous and differentiated. As distinct from the temporal qualities of either film or 
television, which also disrupt time, this property of hypermedia structures an experience 
of fundamental arbitrariness. (Barbatsis, 1999, p. 9)
Therefore, when time is arrested hypermedia creates the potential to create instantaneous as 
while as simultaneous actions through media.  This control of time Barbatsis (1999) refers to as 
16


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