When viewing society as a network I noticed that I do not know the world without it being a global network. Being born in 1993, computers were increasing in popularity and from the day I started kindergarten I had a desktop Mac in each of my classrooms, allowing me to access this network from the age of five years old.
Castell* states numerous consequences from the current networked society. His first consequence of this newly empowered network is the societal effect. Due to the ceaseless boundaries of networks derived from the wireless infrastructure of this communication it has ultimately generated what is known as globalisation. This is the technology that allows us to see real time images as they happen across the globe and allows me to instant message my friend in The United States of America.
However, how accurate is this statement when not all individuals are connected within this network due to poor communication structures within their country or due to poverty conditions they cannot afford a connection to this network? Castell addressed this issue by stating that individuals and nations themselves are;
“influenced , shaped and ultimately dominated by the logic, interests and conflicts of this network society”
Though what are the negatives of a networked globe? Castell, I believe, neglects to address this and more focuses on how individuals and businesses now conduct themselves by having to utilise this new societal structure. A clear negative would be Wikileaks; wikileaks I believe from a Global Government perspective having a networked system has allowed individuals such as Julian Assange (founder of Wikileaks) to leak International Governments’ sensitive documents to the public system. Therefore, not only are these documents shared within Julian’s home country but a networked society allows individuals from all nations to have access to these documents which poses a sense of national security.
It has even been reported that known terrorists have downloaded important leaked Government documents which may have aided in planned attacks on that nation. I believe that this is a prime example of how global networks maybe a negative to society and national security, however, many would argue that WikiLeaks is actually a positive feature of a global network as it promotes freedom of information.
Therefore, whether you believe that the extent the globe is now connected is a positive or a negative, just by reading this post you are engaging in that network.
Until next time.
* Castells, M. (2004) ‘Afterword: why networks matter’. In Network Logic: Who governs in an interconnected world? (pp. 221-224)
Sourced from Google