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Week 1 Blog Post - Digital Dualism

Digital Dualism

Digital Dualism is the belief that the physical world is ‘real’ and the digital world is ‘virtual’ (Jurgenson 2011). These two worlds are viewed as separate and diverse realities in the physical space. Nathan Jurgenson, who coined the term in 2011, argues that “the digital and physical are increasingly meshed” and that digital dualism is “a fallacy” (Jurgenson, 2011).
For example, the offline space is face-to-face communication is when customers are able to visit a bank in person to do their banking, whereas the online space would be internet or mobile banking. It is also meshed together when looking up accounts on the phone when you are visiting a bank teller in person.

Nicholas Carr is blogger who disputes Jurgenson’s idea of Digital Dualism, in which he calls it “Digital Dualism Denialism” (Carr 2013).
“The reason people struggle with the tension between online and offline experience is because there is a tension between both experiences, and people are smart enough to understand, to feel, that the tension does not evaporate as the online intrudes ever further into the offline” (Carr 2013). Carr’s idea that people feel tension between both the online and offline worlds because they are different is interesting, yet it can be pointed in the opposite direction by saying that the internet is just an extension of our reality, which shows Jurgenson’s ‘augmented reality’ theory in which both online and offline worlds are meshed.

When dealing with Jurgenson’s idea of ‘digital dualism’ and ‘augmented reality’, the value of the terms are meaningful in being able to distinguish between online experiences and offline experiences, yet also retaining the fact that both experiences clashes as technology advances.  In terms of delivering better communication projects, I feel these terms are important to note that projects shouldn’t be focused on either online or offline worlds separately, but should meshed together due to our technological advancements where communication is more global and widespread when dealing with demographics and spreading the message. Many different platforms such as smart phones, social media, television, print, radio and internet are viewed as the ‘augmented reality’, and communication projects will benefit well in both worlds and not separately.

Reference List

Jurgenson, N. (2011). Cyborgology. Digital Dualism and the Fallacy of Web Objectivity. Available at:

Carr, N. (2013). Rough Type. Digital Dualism Denialism. Available at:

This post first appeared on S.K.SAINI, please read the originial post: here

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Week 1 Blog Post - Digital Dualism


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