Mobile phones and the wireless internet are perhaps the most frequently used and widely spread of the new global media technologies; on an obvious level, each offers users new forms of connection—in the case of mobile phones to(at a minimum)other users, and with wireless internet to both other users and to a seemingly limitless body of information. Perhaps more significantly, beyond this enhanced connectivity, these forms of mediated communication have transformed users’ relationships to time, place and space. I argue here that alterations of the ideas and experience of time, place and space produced by engagement with these new technologies have profoundly restructured users’ expectations of social interaction and social relationships. What is emerging is a new social order in which individuals no longer ‘own’ their personal time and their personal place/space, but rather participate tacitly in a social contract which takes as a given timeless, placeless availability. I consider the possible personal and social implications of this new connected social order.
|Keywords:||Globalization, Media, Communications|
Professor, Department of English, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
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