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 that this 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 of tightly knit groups; it also requires us to develop networking skills and strategies, work on maintaining 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; and changed the way people obtain information. Rainie and Wellman guide us through the challenges and opportunities of living in the evolving world of networked individuals.
About the Authors
Lee Rainie is Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and former managing editor of U.S. News and World Report.
Barry Wellman directs NetLab at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. He is the founder of the International Network for Social Network Analysis and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
—Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer
—Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody
—Howard Rheingold, critic and author of Net Smart, Tools for Thought, The Virtual Community, and Smart Mobs
—James Fallows, national correspondent and technology analyst for The Atlantic
—Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California
—William Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
—James E Katz, Director, Center for Mobile Communication Studies, Rutgers University
—Ronald S. Burt, Professor of Sociology and Strategy, School of Business, University of Chicago; author of Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition
Honorable Mention, 2012 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Sociology and Social Work, presented by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2012
Winner, 2014 American Sociological Association Section on Communication and Information Technologies (CITASA) Book Award