Tuesday, June 18 2024


Avatar. Analisi delle dislocazioni mentali, personalità tecno-mediate,
derive autistiche e condotto fuori controllo (

Avatar. Analysis of mental dislocations, techno-mediated personalities,
autistic tendencies and out of control behavior). Tonino Cantelmi,
Maria Beatrice Toro, Massimo Talli – Magi Edition, Roma 2010

“My Avatar? It’s despicable. It’s written this way, without capital
letters, and life is a shaman.. “These words of a twenty-year old boy
heavily dependent on computer and Internet are the opening words of the
book “Avatar”, written by Tonino Cantelmi, Maria Beatrice Toro and Massimo
Talli, published by Editions Magi.

Nowadays, the number of kids obsessed with computers is off the charts.
They are far removed from everything and everyone, including their own
family members living under the same roof. Their world is made up of
virtual characters, their Avatars, which they have created to live and
communicate with through virtual communities, now increasingly popular on
the Internet and widely considered by teenagers to be a primary means of
socializing.

It’s like having an alter ego, but it is completely digital, an actual
replacement to be given a name, a certain physical appearance, an age, all
of which usually do not correspond to their real characteristics. Through
your own Avatar by which you interact on the Web, you can play, you can
meet other avatars; new virtual relationships are built, and often, even
romantic ones. You create a parallel world and an identity, with the
dynamics and rules very similar to real life. It ‘s a phenomenon that
deserves to be analyzed from the perspective of psychological and human
emotions.

Reading the various chapters of Cantelmi’s book, it is clear that the theme
of dependence on computers has now reached a very high warning level.
Without making the commonly expressed trivial complaints, it addresses the
issues starting from the observation that many people really happen to live
moments of acute despair if they cannot communicate on the Web. They
experience a sense of suffocation and depression. It is clearly
demonstrated by the frenzy that pushes some people to always be online on
Facebook, to chat and see the profiles of others. The new mobile
technologies that allow navigation even on the phone have broadened the
borders of this phenomenon disturbingly even further, thereby creating a
dependence no longer on just a house or office, but at any time of day.

Dependence on Internet can lead to absolute alienation to the point where
interaction in the real life becomes reduced to only what is necessary for
mere physical survival. This also implies the danger of going beyond
techno-dependence to a state of possible “anthropological mutation”, where
digital technology can influence the human processes and biorhythms. It may
still seem like science fiction, but there are already signs of this
happening.

This book is the starting point of a new line of research that has the
objective to explore the human mind in light of the technological
revolution of this millennium. It is a helpful book either for those
studying these issues for the first time or for those seeking out the
support of a precise statistical analysis of data. This text does not try
to draw final conclusions, but simply offers insights and criticism on
issues that constitute the ever present challenge to the scientific, social
and technological developments in the coming decades. The only criticism is
that at times the text is too technical. This makes reading difficult at
times and certainly not ideal for the layman. The simply and smooth
language and style, however, remedies that problem. In conclusion, it is
highly recommended to read this book.

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