Volitional mobility is the sensation the surfer experiences as if "they call the shots", a novelty most mediums lack. The user becomes a quintessential part in the virtual voyage unfolding through polls, chat rooms, searches and message boards. In essence, the user controls his/her digital destiny. The internet is different than any other media form for this principle reason. Unlike the position of viewer or spectator, the user is in other words, the director. Yet, the reality is volitional mobility is a facade created and maintained by the user. Volitional mobility is especially deceptive when one utilizes a search engine. Search engines as Tara McPherson states are "powerful programs which promote the illusion that one is actively surfing the web . . . giving the users the sense of control and movement through cyberspace when really you don't even touch the web when you initiate a search." [pg. 467, "Reload: Liveliness, Mobility and the Web"] The user is searching within a small database of information which privileges commercial sites. Digital capitalism is kept alive through volitional mobility.
Last modified 31 December 2006