The Mobile Society and E-everything

(Archived in: Related Miscellany Social Design)

Ongoing debates about cyberspace and e-commerce (EC) have suggested that the online world will somehow always be dramatically different from life in the analog world.

The advent of the early Arpanet/Internet was often characterized as a void that was impersonal and immaterial. It is true that as e-commerce continues to mature, national boarders become less meaningful, and the specific location of individuals and businesses do not matter that much anymore. It also is true that we are now seeing blogs, forums, discussion groups, online social networks, and other influences emerging to re-socialize and form new e-tribal experiences on the Internet.

Technology is the great equalizer and almost always makes up for any lack and the supposed weakening of social structure. New technology always is eventually accepted and becomes an essential part of the fabric of society itself.

It seems that every day we are increasingly connected via interactive technologies - mobile phones, email, instant messaging - and these technologies are becoming more and more interconnected. Our society is transforming itself where the action of interaction is in itself mobile by its nature.

Even as we communicate on our cell phones, whether speaking, text messaging, or sending and receiving email or photos, we are also "mobile" in the sense that we can move freely while being in constant communication.

The issues of a mobile society, mobile computing, or other aspects of a ubiquitous society have often been deemed as sterile and seemingly lacking of the human element, a realm reserved only for savvy geeks, engineers and academics.

Accessibility to emerging technology has changed the notion that only technical elites or "wireless road warriors" can conduct business without a fixed base, operating from cell phones, PDAs, laptop computers, and wireless connections with little regard to traditional office essentials.

The reality is that "E-everything" is no longer a fad, nor even a trend, but now an important and accepted style of living and doing business both online and offline.