Role Mobile Technology Play In The Network Society.

The aim of this essay is to discuss the role mobile technology play in the network society.
Network Society: “The network society concept emphasizes the form and organization of information processing and exchange.” (Van Dijk, 2006: 20).
Mobile technology has changed human history. It allows us to stay connected regardless of our geographical location. The implications of this are huge: not only is it incredibly convenient to be able to make a phone call wherever you are, but it’s also crucial to be able to make a phone call when you need to most; namely, during an emergency situation. Because of this, mobile technology has literally saved lives. Besides these obvious implications, there are also more subtle ways by which mobile technology has helped mankind. Consider that mobile devices are commonly used in the medical industry to enhance and simplify how things are run.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to mobile devices. Through phone calls, SMS messaging, mobile Internet browsing and many more avenues, we’ve been able to stay connected as a society and keep in touch both in times of relaxation and in times of need. Mobile devices have truly touched the lives of millions.
Regardless of their specific form, the last few decades have seen an unparalleled rise in the availability of these technologies among the public. In 1985, for example, there were a total of 340,000 cell phone subscribers in the United States. In 2012, there are now 5.9 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide. This shift in the span of only 27 years has had a dramatic effect on how people relate to one another.
In previous eras, for example, there was a clear line between the “public” and “private” spheres of daily life. Because communication technology could only be transmitted in very specific forms like a television set or radio signal, people interacted with the technology in limited bursts. The news cycle was geared to produce a compendium of relevant stories at specific times, leading to more thoughtful and well-researched presentations. Because the hardware was somewhat costly, people tended to gather in groups to experience presentations together. When the presentation was over, people would turn off the technology and return to their particular social grouping without the expectation of further media interference.
In our present society, mobile technology is never “off” in the same way that it used to be only a few decades before. While people can elect individually to participate with the technology, the public/private boundary has become very hard to differentiate. Cell phones, which allow people to connect to the internet, are designed to remain receptive to messages unless their battery has died. The natural human urge to connect with others is now a constant option, instead of an occasional luxury.
The presence of older communication technology such as radio or television in people’s lives does not have the same significance that it once did, although it still plays a role. Increasingly, communication technology is viewed as a kind of platform. A radio show might be more popular than a television show, or vice-versa. People accord relevance to content, not necessarily the platform on which it is found. This has forced content providers to become increasingly competitive in terms of branding themselves in the market in order to attract attention. Television competes with Twitter competes with radio competes with memes on the internet. There is no center in the communications technology universe, only a constantly revolving door of options. The consumer chooses what content appeals to him, and the benefit to the communication technology provider is therefore second-hand.
This is partially why the rise of wireless technology may ultimately become the distinguishing factor in who influences major communication shifts. Much like electricity, without wireless access many people will be unable to access the content. However, the sheer numbers of people who are actively participating in communications technology by virtue of owning cell phones makes it unlikely that only one provider will be able to capture all wireless communications. Because cell phones and tablet computers have evolved so quickly, it is likely that smaller markets will be able to create sophisticated “off-grid” technologies that use a specialized form of wireless signal to transmit messages to a select group, much as the London rioters of 2011 sent each other private messages over their Blackberrys or iPhones.



It is now a norm to see mobile phones in educational and learning environments such as the school ground. Once an isolated learning environment, now a constant connection to outside distractions and interruptions. A survey of 1,000 young people aged 11–15 years found that 90% had their own mobile phone (Kendall 2001). Of those young people owning a phone; the majority (73 percent) had their mobile phones on during the class and a further 13 percent said that they had received a call or message since the class had begun. This shows the change from a student who should be focusing and learning, that is now distracted and socializing.
The usage of mobile phones may be altering, in a profound way, the structure of leisure time. It has changed the idea of ‘killing’ time when you would read a newspaper, book or magazine. Now, killing time can be more productive by communicating with someone, planning things or even checking emails (Fortunati, 2002).
Regardless of what the future holds, the present is very much an environment influenced by communication technology. It is not an uncommon sight to see someone walking down a crowded street, completely absorbed by the display of their smart phone. The way we choose to connect with people has become largely mediated by communication technology. Most of us, perhaps not surprisingly, have accepted this transition without question.

Van Dijk, JAGM. 2006. The network society: Social Aspects of New Media. 2nd edition. London: Sage Publication.
Fortunatia L. 2002, Information, Communication & Society. 5th edition. Udine: Routledge Publication.
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The impact that social media has on societal and individual relations.

The aim of this essay is to give the impact that social media has on societal and individual relations.

Social media has changed the way people interact with each other forever. Social media first existed as an invention created in 1975 known as email, which is still used today (Owyang, 2009).

However social media has advanced in to using a profile to give information about a user and his or her interests, and has integrated the use of email. Now social media involves sharing stories, photos, and involves the use of applications as well as messaging to communicate with others. This type of social media did not become popular until the year 2003 when MySpace and Friendster were launched. Shortly after Facebook was launched but was not open to the general public until 2006, which has become the number one social media site today (Owyang, 2009). These networks have many positive effects such as remaining in contact with friends, meeting new people, providing educational benefits, as well as the convenience of mobilly accessing it. Also there are some negative effects which include identity theft, cyber bullying, decreased social interaction in real life, and social isolation. Increase in mobile social media could possible cause future health problems.

The first type of social media created was Email, which was invented in 1975 (Email). Since then social media has advanced into a profile with numerous features that can be used and has integrated the use of email. Now social media is changing the way the world interacts with people, and has provided many useful tools for the world to use. Still these social networks are continuing to advance to provide better features for users, and these popular sites will continue to grow in size. Even though social networks can have negative effects such as wasting time, it also affects people positively by allowing people to communicate and remain in contact with friends in a much easier way. (Owyang, 2009)

In the article “Are social networking sites good for our society?” (ProCom,2009) social networking  is defined as “an online community that allow people to develop profiles of their backgrounds and interests, communicate with friends and strangers, and share thoughts, photos, Internet links, music, and more (p.1). Once a social network is joined users are prompted to identify others in the system with which they have a relationship known generally as “friends.” Social media sites vary greatly with the features they have to offer, and is what makes each site different from the other.”Six Degrees” was the first major social network, similar to social media today, to be launched and was launched in 1997 (Bhutkar, 2009). Social media as it is today did not become popular until 2003 when Friendster MySpace and LinkedIn were launched. Then in 2004 Facebook was launched but was only open to college students with a valid university email. Facebook remained a college only network for two years before it opened to the general public in 2006. Since then Facebook has become the number one social media site

(Bhutkar, 2009).

Social media sites allow people to communicate and remain in contact with friends as well as meet new people. These sites allow people to find others with similar interests that they can create a relationship with and get to know one another. Groups can be joined or formed to meet people with similar interests, and views. Social media allows for creative expression by using tools such as messaging to post ideas and stories (Are social networking sites good for our society). Users also share poems, interest in music, TV shows, hobbies, photos, and many other things. Event invitations can be made and sent to friends rather than having to mail invitations and friends can also rsvp for an event on the site.

Not only is it used to talk to friends, but it is also used to discuss educational topics. Social media is said to increase a person’s quality of life, and can reduce health risks. Many people report that they have not had any negative experiences with social media, and schools are starting to look at it as an educational tool (Thelwell, 2006). The use of social media helps improve technological skills of students, and exposes them to many diverse views about things. It also has helped with communication skills, and allows the learning of cultures from users all over the world. Also students use social media to discuss homework topics with peers online, and to get help on assignments (Reid, 2009). Sixty percent of students on social networks have said that they talk about education, and 50 percent specifically talk about school work assignments. These students seem to have an extraordinary set of traditional and 21st century skills including communication, creativity, collaboration, and leadership skills and technology proficiency. Parents are expecting schools to take advantage of using online social media to educate children, but to do so in a safe way. Some public schools have created a secure social network for its student to be able to communicate with other students, and to do so in a more safe way (National School Board Association, 2007).

Social media does not just benefit individuals, but it also benefits businesses as well. These sites allow businesses to advertise and market services to a large audience, and a profile is free to set up (Gillin, 2008). Numerous businesses have created profiles that provide detailed information about the business to advertise in a low cost way (Roberts, 2008). Businesses will gain more attention on social networks because the business profile is available to for all users of the social network to see. Also businesses like to use social networks to learn what potential employees are like, and make decisions based on the information provided on the person’s profile (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007).


Social media has its advantages and its disadvantages like everything else does. The sites are continuously advancing, and changing to fix the negative problems.There are still problems that need to be fixed, but it seems that the positive effects outweigh the negative effects. Social media is a very valuable tool that can be used to meet new people, and allow people to remain in contact with friends. Even though it can waste time, social media positively affects the world by allowing people to communicate, and remain in contact with friends in an easy and convenient way.


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