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Provided by BBVA The Internet is the decisive technology of the Information Age, and with the explosion of wireless communication in the early twenty-first century, we can say that humankind is now almost entirely connected, albeit with great levels of inequality in bandwidth, efficiency, and price.
People, companies, and institutions feel the depth of this technological change, but the speed and scope of the transformation has triggered all manner of utopian and dystopian perceptions that, when examined closely through methodologically rigorous empirical research, turn out not to be accurate.
For instance, media often report that intense use of the Internet increases the risk of isolation, alienation, and withdrawal from society, but available evidence shows that the Internet neither isolates people nor reduces their sociability; it actually increases sociability, civic engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures.
But individuation does not mean isolation, or the end of community. Instead, social relationships are being reconstructed on the basis of individual interests, values, and projects. Today, social networking sites are the preferred platforms for all kinds of activities, both business and personal, and sociability has dramatically increased — but it is a different kind of sociability.
Most Facebook users visit the site daily, and they connect on multiple dimensions, but only on the dimensions they choose. The virtual life is becoming more social than the physical life, but it is less a virtual reality than a real virtuality, facilitating real-life work and urban living.
At root, social-networking entrepreneurs are really selling spaces in which people can freely and autonomously construct their lives. Sites that attempt to impede free communication are soon abandoned by many users in favor of friendlier and less restricted spaces.
Messages no longer flow solely from the few to the many, with little interactivity. Now, messages also flow from the many to the many, multimodally and interactively. By disintermediating government and corporate control of communication, horizontal communication networks have created a new landscape of social and political change.
Networked social movements have been particularly active sincenotably in the Arab revolutions against dictatorships and the protests against the management of the financial crisis. Online and particularly wireless communication has helped social movements pose more of a challenge to state power.
The Internet and the Web constitute the technological infrastructure of the global network society, and the understanding of their logic is a key field of research. It is only scholarly research that will enable us to cut through the myths surrounding this digital communication technology that is already a second skin for young people, yet continues to feed the fears and the fantasies of those who are still in charge of a society that they barely understand.
Read the full article here. He received the Erasmus Medal inand the Holberg Prize. He has published 25 books, including the trilogy The Information Age: The AI revolution is here.
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Help Uninstall EULA Privacy Uninstall EULA Privacy. Overview. Since approximately , numerous governments around the world have been addressing the problems of material on the Internet that is illegal under their offline laws, and also that considered harmful or otherwise unsuitable for minors.
Second generation web-based technologies (Web ) such as social media and networking sites are increasingly being used by governments for activities ranging from open policy making to communication campaigns and customer service.
Sep 08, · Business Impact; Connectivity; The Impact of the Internet on Society: A Global Perspective. The Internet and the Web constitute the technological infrastructure of the global network Author: Manuel Castells.
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