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Networked: The New Social Operating System

by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 376 pages
AU$52.99 NZ$54.77
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Daily life is connected life, its rhythms driven by endless email pings and responses, the chimes and beeps of continually arriving text messages, tweets and retweets, Facebook updates, pictures and videos to post and discuss. Our perpetual connectedness gives us endless opportunities to be part of the give-and-take of networking. Some worry ththis new environment makes us isolated and lonely. But in Networked, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman show how the large, loosely knit social circles of networked individuals expand opportunities for learning, problem solving, decision making, and personal interaction. The new social operating system of 'networked individualism' liberates us from the restrictions oftightly knit groups; it also requires us to develop networking skills and strategies, work onmaintaining ties, and balance multiple overlapping networks. Rainie and Wellman outline the 'triple revolution' that has brought on this transformation: the rise of social networking, the capacity of the Internet to empower individuals, and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices. Drawing on extensive evidence, they examine how the move to networked individualism has expanded personal relationships beyond households and neighborhoods; transformed work into less hierarchical, more team-driven enterprises; encouraged individuals to create and share content; andchanged the way people obtain information. Rainie and Wellman guide us through the challenges andopportunities of living in the evolving world of networked individuals.

Networked provides an engaging and accessible overview of the ways in which social networks, the Internet, and mobile technologies have converged to affect everyday lives.

'Vanessa P. Dennen, Educational Technology
Lee Rainie is Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project andformer managing editor of U.S. News and World Report. Barry Wellman directs NetLab at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. He is thefounder of the International Network for Social Network Analysis and a Fellow of the Royal Societyof Canada.