Aspects of the Social Age: Technology and Geography

The Social Age is premised upon a number of central changes that impact everything else: one of these is the evolution of technology, and the other the diminution of geography.

Specifically relating to technology, it’s the shift from central ownership, oversight, and control, to a model of prolific, distributed, redundant, and democratised, technology that counts. Broadly, ownership has devolved, and with it, power. In parallel, media technology has evolved predominantly from consumption, to co-creation or broadcast. So everyone is participating, and everyone has a voice.

Relating to geography: we used to be separated by distance (and hence time), but thanks largely to the evolution of technology, we are not broadly connected in largely synchronous ways. This does not just make it easier to have one conversation: it makes it easier to have all the conversations in the world. This radical connectivity means we can be radically social: our tribes (trust bonded structures), and communities (meta-tribal structures) can be more easily distributed, and hence diverse (if we work to make them so).

These are just two of the transformative effects, but two of the most significant ones i believe.

Our distributed technology provides great social network resilience, and our synchronous connectivity provides fertile ground for ideas and social movements to spread: contrast that with the reality within many Organisations, where ‘control’ is still a dominant model, and synchronicity is countered by safety. Not ‘risk management’ type safety, but cultural safety, where we conform to existing narratives in a time of constant change.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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