The expanding notion of the web, and the cyber world we inhibit, is seeing the rise of walled garden in our social media channels, and life inside the walled garden is never what it seems.
When you want inside, you crave the security and closure, knowing your lord will protect and provide for you. He gives you the land, we produce the value. You make the account, you generate value by simply using it, adding little by little to the overall data of Facebook. Facebook protects you, it maintains your discretion, your password and account details (Shields, R 2015). Without the peasants working the land, Facebook has no commodity.
When you’re inside the garden, suddenly the walls seems so much higher on the inside. You cannot leave the land without permission, you cannot sell it or take you gaining with you. WordPress has given me a free blogging account, that I have contributed into the machine, but the minute I deactivate my account, my content and presence cannot come with me because it was also theirs. Becoming a part of the walled garden universe means cutting off some roots to the green grass outside, but inside…can the flower thrive? Nourishments can arrive from the outside, and kept under their control, Facebook letting you glimpse the outside without actually having to leave (Nield, D 2015).
Everything you could possibly want or need is inside your little walled garden, everything has been preselected and aggregated for you to enjoy. The big, open internet is made out to be a scary, dangerous place for a lonely, little end node, but without spending some time outside the walled garden, how will new ideas be born?
Where it’s true, everyone and everything can be posted online, for better or for worse, this is where creativity can lie, where something new and electric will spark to life (Lessig, L 2004). The Web is fast becoming replaced by more and more walled communities, closed and centralised. It may be a wild storm of information and ideas outside the garden, almost impossible to hear one voice shouting amongst the rest through the data flows; but a quick saunter outside the safety net can remind you cutting off some roots will keep you safe, but will it stop you from growing altogether?
Shields, R (2015) Facebook: ‘We’re Not Closed, We’re Protecting our User’s Data’ The Drum http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/09/15/facebook-we-re-not-closed-we-re-protecting-our-users-data
Nield, D (2015) The Walled Garden of the Web Are Growing, Read Write http://readwrite.com/2015/05/13/walled-gardens-of-the-web