“It is the passing from the industrial age into the information age; brought by information technologies”. The ways of managing information and using micro-electronic based technology and not just about social networks. (Castell, 2005).
“Mobile and wireless technology will spread the network society to the most remote places and the deepest pores of the world”. (van Dijk, 2006: 59).
WHY THE NETWORK SOCIETY?
The Network Society creates freedom, empowerment and opportunity to transform industries and society. It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places and only 25 years to connect 5 billion people. 91% of the world’s population has access to mobile communications. It is all about sharing and getting informed. Businesses are created and structured in such a way that shapes social interaction. Learning and connecting is much easier than before this broadens education and each individual is empowered to use technology for their own use.
Estimated by 2020, “Network Society will have brought about significant economic, social and environmental progress to hundreds of millions of people”. In the next coming years centuries will experience extraordinary revolution of technology. (Ericsson).
Smartphones which are easily purchased and quite a number of people have access to, continues to spread to countries such as China and India. Technology plays an important role in the global cell phone market. There are various apps and are still being created by the day. In the beginning, Facebook had taken a good ride on the iPhone App Store for weeks after it had been released. The social network app ranks #4 in the most downloaded iPhone app which is 26% installs and MySpace Mobile at #7 with 23% installs, according to comStore. (Lyon, 2010).
Jan van Dijk book, The Network Society 3rd edition is popular for the understandings of the changes in connected societies.
The Network Society is a different way of communicating as compared to the information society. It has become a type of society where social relations form into a communication network rather than face to face social relations. Van Dijk describes the differences of the Network Society. This author sees it as a more organised society and which reaches out to any social group.
An individual has much control over what they want to communicate or what they would like to research for. This leads to everyone having similar networks but in their own different ways of how they would create profiles or socialize with others- “generalization and standardization of the social environment meet the opposing trends of particularity and cultural differentiation”. (van Dijk, 2012: 175).
The chapters discuss Technology and the Network, Economy and the Network, Law and the Network. There are arguments on the relation of networks to societies. “..networks are supposed to be the basic units of contemporary society as they are in the view of Manuel Castells…these basic units are held to be individuals, households, groups and organisations…the combination of social and media networks produced by both organisational and technological innovation forms the all-embracing network structure of modern societies”. (van Dijk, 2012: 33).
AGREE WITH VAN DIJK
It is an agreement that the network society enables one to do more and have more resoures. In the past, it took more time and some difficulty to connect across the globe. Today it only takes seconds to reach out to another country that does not even share the same language. For example a student can do research on a topic in English while in America another student does the same topic but in Spanish and their views are different from a variety of information sources.