Week 7 – The Networked Self

THE NETWORKED SELF

When Networked Individuals Roamed the Earth touched me on a personal level and for that, this blog today shall analyse Lee Rainie and his inspiring words.

The online network is a very powerful place, rife with opportunities and chances to connect with hundreds of millions of individuals around the world. As someone who thrives off the online world and the endless possibilities that it can provide, it’s undeniable with the power of the internet, people can do very amazing things all down to the network they share. It’s important to note the emphasis that Lee Rainie places on this in the video as shown above as he shares a heart-warming story about Trudy and Peter-Johnson Lenz. Who are these people you may ask… One unfortunate day Trudy suffered a brain injury by hitting her head off a concrete step and surgeons acted to save her life with only a 50:50 chance of her survival. By emailing his immediate friends, the network grew and grew and through joining forces, friends and people throughout their community helped this couple through a very difficult point in their life. People of similar interest to people who didn’t know them at all provided goods such as CD’s, meals to cold hard cash, all with the sole intention of helping one man in return for the values and lessons that these people provided upon them. They wanted to “enact the network being” and turn their life around with the power of the online network. Undoubtedly, this is a true representation of the kindness of strangers.

Furthermore, even though there was far less face-to-face communication occurring, there was a huge increase in overall inter-communication as their network continued to grow and challenged the typical stigma that is associated with online life. Many feel that there is a certain isolation that revolves around the world of online communication but in his eyes, it’s not a “stunted” fabricated world as many choose to believe but one of positivity and opportunity as previously mentioned. Furthermore, this technological revolution can be further divided into three separate revolutions, each of which focus on a particular aspect of the era:

1) The Social Network Revolution

2) The Internet Revolution

3) The Mobile Revolution

Undeniably, networking has become a key aspect to everyday life and will continue to grow and grow. The system of job hunting has become a key aspect of online networking as giving out CV’s by hand or by word of mouth slowly seems to be dying out. A site that has capitalised upon this niche in the market focuses on networking between user to user is LinkedIn. The site was created in 2002 so there is still plenty of room for improvement for it to expand and evolve but many businesses are now relying on said website to target potential employees. From my experience on the website, many people will tend to select their fellow work colleagues or personal friends as connections on the website but as their network grows, users are bound to meet connections of both professional status. LinkedIn is the perfect way of promoting oneself as it provides you with the opportunity of displaying any completed work in the desired industry and thus becomes easy for potential employers and connections to access. It’s clear that networking, whether online or offline, has implemented itself in our everyday society but we must remember that the opportunities are there and through networking, be willing to grab them.

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