Just Where Is Cyberspace?

020828These days people talk about cyberspace as if it were a new location out there in regular space.

Cyberspace is not spacial the way your house is. When people talk about cyberspace, they’re talking about a virtual place, generated by computers communicating. Cyberspace is information. It’s the word we now use for that huge network of electronic information open to anyone with access to a networked computer.

Cyberspace is global and disembodied. Instead of visiting a locality like a library to access information, the citizens of cyberspace can retrieve information and communicate with people around the world while sitting at home in front of their computer.

Like geographical space, cyberspace is divided and subdivided into many navigable segments. Once on the network called the Internet, the choice is yours. You can join global-wide discussion groups on every imaginable topic.

Since cyberspace is about information and communication, it remains about people. How we deal with information depends on the degree to which we can trust its sources. This means we still need to be vigilant when visiting cyberspace. How we use this information depends not on technology, but on our values.

So next time you venture into cyberspace, don’t abandon either your values or your vigilance.