Networked: The New Social Operating System

Networked: The New Social Operating System

by Lee Rainie, Barry Wellman
     
 

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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 that this new environment

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rather than encouraging isolation, the authors propose, the Internet enables people to connect with each other to a far greater extent than before, Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, and Wellman, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto, draw on anecdotes as well as an exhaustive array of surveys about people’s use of smartphones, social networks, and the Web in an attempt to prove that “people are not hooked on gadgets—they are hooked on each other.” The authors optimistically argue that the proliferation of online social networking “provides opportunities for people to thrive if they know how to maneuver in it”; they also give examples of people in crisis who benefited from online networks. While some of the authors’ conclusions might surprise technophobes—such as that people see friends more these days than in the past—the book unfortunately brims with studies that prove the obvious; at this point, it’s hardly news that people rely on their phones, search the Web for information about their co-workers, or turn to the Internet for financial information. (June)
From the Publisher
"Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman write a remarkably approachable, nuanced,and clear-written treatise on how social networks, the Internet, and mobile technology are changing the way we live our daily lives." — Ate Poorthuis, Journal of Regional Science
NPR Science - Shankar Vedantam

It's easy to find rigorous science, and it's easy to find topical stuff,
but it's not easy to find both at the same time!

Educational Technology - Vanessa P. Dennen

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.

Journal of Regional Science - Ate Poorthuis

Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman write a remarkably approachable, nuanced,
and clear-written treatise on how social networks, the Internet, and mobile technology are changing the way we live our daily lives.

Library Journal
Rainie (director, Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research Ctr.) and Wellman (S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, Univ. of Toronto) are well suited to explore the inherent interconnectedness of modern-day digital society. They examine a shift toward what they call "networked individualism," in which a new system of social operation is at work connecting people in deeper and different ways. Rainie and Wellman argue that, rather than eroding traditional social connections, information and communication technologies, such as mobile connectivity, texting, and Facebook, are strengthening them in new ways. Using a combination of personal stories, qualitative and quantitative sociological studies, and the extensive data sets of the Pew Research Center, they present a compelling look at how society is shifting from being group- to network-oriented in arenas including relationships, family, and work, as well as information creation and dissemination. They offer a refreshingly positive exploration of our increasingly online world. VERDICT Recommended for social science buffs and those interested in the impact of virtual life on our collective reality.—Candice A. Kail, Columbia Univ. Libs., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262300407
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
376
Sales rank:
1,096,275
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Ronald S. Burt

From their rich history of research on the interconnected evolution of social networks, the internet, and mobile phones, Rainie and Wellman have assembled a cornucopia of facts and implications about work, family, and life in the new era of 'networked individualism.' When the next person asks me to talk about the network implications of social media, this is the book to which I will send them.

James E Katz

Deftly slicing through hyperbole about the communication, internet and mobile revolutions, the authors bring us face-to-face with the wellspring of modern life: the networked individual. With flair, and a dash of wry humor, they provide keen insight about how this phenomenon affects all aspects of our lives. Anyone looking to gain deeper understanding about today's social world should read this book.

Manuel Castells

We live in a network society. This book explains why, how, and what, on the basis of empirical evidence and rigorous analysis. This is a well-documented,
well-thought, clearly written text that will become indispensable reading for professionals and students alike.

Howard Rheingold

Just as I would not let my child loose in traffic before I taught her to look both ways, if it were up to me, nobody would be let loose online until they read Networked. From the stories of real people whose lives have been changed, often for the better, by their interactions with contemporary online social networks, to the sociological and psychological theories that explain how life is really changing in the age of 'networked individualism,' this is a must-read manual for life online today.

James Fallows

The Pew Internet Project has been part of America's tech landscape for nearly as long as Google has, and five years longer than Facebook. Through that time it has earned respect and attention for its careful, systematic studies of the ways in which networked connectivity is changing some daily patterns of commercial,
educational, and social interactions -- and the other long-standing human patterns it had reinforced. In Networked, the Project's leader, Lee
Rainie, and his co-author Barry Wellman, build on that analysis to explain what we already know about technology's impact on our lives, what we can see coming, and where the biggest surprises and uncertainties still lie.

William Dutton

Networked illuminates how search, social networking,
and the always on connectivity of mobile devices are combining to transform the social role of the Internet. This book -- by two leading authorities -- should be required reading for courses on the Internet, new media, and society.

Clay Shirky

Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman have woven three enormous changes in the ways we connect -- the spread of the internet, mobile tools, and social media --
into a single clarifying story of our present and future life in the 21st century.

Vint Cerf

Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman have combined forces to become the new
Marshall McLuhan! They draw on years of observation to weave the threads of the online and offline worlds into a deeply colored tapestry. We can see emergent social norms arising from their moving stories and insightful analyses.

From the Publisher

"Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman have combined forces to become the new Marshall
McLuhan! They draw on years of observation to weave the threads of the online and offline worlds into a deeply colored tapestry. We can see emergent social norms arising from their moving stories and insightful analyses."--Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer

The MIT Press

"Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman have woven three enormous changes in the ways we connect--the spread of the internet, mobile tools, and social media--into a single clarifying story of our present and future life in the 21st century."--Clay Shirky, author of
Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody

The MIT Press

"Just as I would not let my child loose in traffic before I taught her to look both ways, if it were up to me, nobody would be let loose online until they read
Networked
. From the stories of real people whose lives have been changed, often for the better, by their interactions with contemporary online social networks, to the sociological and psychological theories that explain how life is really changing in the age of 'networked individualism,' this is a must-read manual for life online today."--Howard
Rheingold
, critic and author of Net Smart, Tools for
Thought
, The Virtual Community, and Smart
Mobs

The MIT Press

"The Pew Internet Project has been part of America's tech landscape for nearly as long as Google has, and five years longer than Facebook. Through that time it has earned respect and attention for its careful, systematic studies of the ways in which networked connectivity is changing some daily patterns of commercial, educational, and social interactions--and the other long-standing human patterns it had reinforced. In Networked, the Project's leader, Lee Rainie, and his co-author Barry Wellman build on that analysis to explain what we already know about technology's impact on our lives, what we can see coming, and where the biggest surprises and uncertainties still lie."--James Fallows, national correspondent and technology analyst for The Atlantic

The MIT Press

"We live in a network society. This book explains why, how, and what, on the basis of empirical evidence and rigorous analysis. This is a well-documented, well-thought, clearly written text that will become indispensable reading for professionals and students alike."--Manuel
Castells
, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society, University of
Southern California

The MIT Press

"Networked illuminates how search, social networking, and the always on connectivity of mobile devices are combining to transform the social role of the Internet.
This book--by two leading authorities--should be required reading for courses on the Internet, new media, and society."--William Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of
Oxford

The MIT Press

"Deftly slicing through hyperbole about the communication, internet and mobile revolutions, the authors bring us face-to-face with the wellspring of modern life: the networked individual. With flair, and a dash of wry humor, they provide keen insight about how this phenomenon affects all aspects of our lives. Anyone looking to gain deeper understanding about today's social world should read this book."--James E Katz, Director, Center for Mobile
Communication Studies, Rutgers University

The MIT Press

"From their rich history of research on the interconnected evolution of social networks, the internet, and mobile phones, Rainie and Wellman have assembled a cornucopia of facts and implications about work, family, and life in the new era of 'networked individualism.' When the next person asks me to talk about the network implications of social media, this is the book to which I will send them."--Ronald S. Burt, Professor of Sociology and Strategy,
School of Business, University of Chicago; author of Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition

The MIT Press

Meet the Author

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 is the S. D. Clark Professor of Sociology at the
University of Toronto, where he directs NetLab.

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