We’re no longer employing you, we’re selling you!

Back in the olden days*, there were a limited amount of jobs available. Most women only worked until they got married and become a mother, and most of the workforce worked in factories and on production lines. But over time, the whole make up of the workforce has changed and evolved from the industrial era until now, the information era.

The workforce during the industrial era of jobs was when people worked in producing something physical. On a factory production line, putting something together to be sold. This is what people wanted. It was the time of the suburban oasis, the perfect housewife, buying the perfect appliances, all for the perfect family.
This was also the era that unions were created and the 9 to 5 working day began. People had full time jobs and worked an 8 hour day. The 8 hour day, however, has become obsolete in this day and age, with people hardly ever ceasing work.

With the coming of the information age, people are no longer working with physical products and creating them. The information age brings new jobs, with new products. Most jobs no longer deal with physical products, but more so a different kind of product. Products are now digital, people and their information.
Take Facebook as an example. Every time somebody creates a Facebook profile and adds their information, Facebook collects that and sells it to their advertisers. Advertisers pay a lot more for ads that can be specifically targeted to a certain group, because their money isn’t wasted and goes a lot further. Facebook is the future of advertising.
And have you ever wondered why you can be on a website like YouTube or Facebook, and the advertisements magically have something to do with something you were ‘Googling’ earlier. That’s because Google uses the same principal as Facebook – ‘tailored advertising’. Do you use Google Chrome? Google knows everything you’ve ever ‘Googled’, every website you’ve ever visited and everything you’ve ever done online. Google uses your information to sell to advertises who use it to sell back to you.

Are you okay with Facebook and Google using your information to sell you things? After all, at least you get advertised things you might actually want! Or is Facebook and Google using this information against you, to track you? Are you being watched?
How does this impact your view of the new ‘information era’ of the workforce?

*not actually sure when the olden days were

My Random Followers

We’ve all done it. Usually on Twitter or Instagram, but even sometimes on Facebook.
I know I’ve done it, and I’ll bet that you have too. Yes, we’ve all used a pointless #hashtag in order to seem funny and sometimes even random.

It might not even be on purpose, the hashtag could actually be relevant to your post. You upload a picture of your cat to Instagram, hashtag #cat. You post something on Twitter about Carly Rae Jepson, hashtag #goddess. But have you actually noticed how these hashtags affect you?

I have a lot of random people from Russia following me on Instagram. How did they even find my profile? My guess is the hashtag #vodka. What about that crazy cat lady from somewhere in the south of the United States? Hashtag #catselfie. 

Every time we use a hashtag, we’re opening ourselves up to another space within cyberspace. Just think, if you didn’t use that hashtag #yoloswag that one time 3 months ago, you wouldn’t have all of those twelvies in snapbacks following you on Tumblr.

Every single hashtag is a new world. A new group of people. A new audience. All in cyberspace. And that’s how easy it is to meet people with similar interests on the internet. And I say meet, not actually meaning physically meeting people, but meeting them nonetheless.

Is it utopian to think that there’s a space for everyone on the internet? I don’t think so.
I like to think of the internet as a place where minorities cease to exist. If you’re the only person in your friends group who is obsessed with trashy pop music (I’m using my own example here), you just need to get online and with the use of one hashtag, you are surrounded by people with the same interest, and you are no longer a minority.

Is this a utopian idea? No, it’s reality.
Even if your new friends are nowhere near you physically, they can be right next to you in cyberspace, and that is thanks to the giant network we being to called society.

Hashtags have become like a door to another world. Each world with different people inside. But the great thing about cyberspace is that you can be in a number of different worlds at once. TweetDeck is a great example of this. You can track a number of hashtags at once, and they all appear on your computer screen simultaneously.

This makes me think of that porn blog that followed me on Tumblr once. I don’t even know what hashtag I used to make that happen. I don’t think I really want to know!

To invent, or not to invent? That is the question.

As I mentioned in my post last week, the evolution of networks has shaped our society today. The evolution of technology and networks has overtaken the evolution of humans. This poses the question; are humans even evolving anymore, or is technology doing all of the evolving on our behalf? As humans create, enhance and add to the technology we already use, we are finding that the technology we’re developing becomes more diverse. Is there any such thing as an inventor in this day and age?

Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, created his invention with the intention of enhancing the telegraph. Martin Cooper, the creator of the first mobile phone got his inspiration from Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. This then led to the smart phone as we know it today.
This poses the question again; is there any such thing as an inventor today, or is the only thing close enough to compare simply an enhancer?

It’s interesting to see how throughout history, the amount of times “inventors” have just added to or enhanced previous inventions. This also joins in with my post from last week: Is there ever going to be a famous name in technology again? Sure, there are names like Zuckerberg in the world, but one must not forget that MySpace came before and the fact that Zuckerberg was only one of five co-founders of the Facebook brand. He merely had the smarts to manipulate his counterparts, making him one of the richest people in the technological world.

So, what makes an original inventor? What makes someone an inventor in the first place? How do you know when you have an original invention? And what even is an original invention?

So many questions, not many answers…

Because Everybody Loves Morgan Freeman

There are many questions that can be asked about networks. What are they? How do they work? And these questions will get answered in due course. But two questions that I have in particular are; what do networks do for society, and how do they change over time?

Hundreds of years ago there were networks. But these networks were very different to the networks we have today. They were a lot simpler and just between small communities. You had the network of your family, all communicating within your little family group. As soon as you left your house, you had the social network of your local community. And that was about it.
But with the help of technology, networks have changed. Grown and reinvented.

After the invention of the printing press, people were able to communicate what they wanted a lot faster and easier, so the local network grew. People could now write books with their ideas, and share those with other people.

Today, we have the internet and are able to access it from almost anywhere. Phones, tablets, computers, TVs. The way people communicate changed forever with the invention of the global network. The way we communicate as a society has changed. No more putting messages in bottles and sending it out to sea, no more notes strapped to pigeons. Now we can push a button, and our thoughts and ideas are shared with the world, with the rest of the global network.

As technology evolved, so did humans, so did society, so did networks.

“People are more and more connected as a coherent being”.

We now communicate with people all over the world at the same speed that the neurons in our brain talk to each other. Some might even use the metaphor of the global network we live in becoming one big brain, with each person one little neuron, all working together to make the brain (our society) function properly.

So what does this mean for the future of our society and our global network? We’re developing as a global society a lot quicker now than we did 400 years ago.
“If Galileo could immediately have talked with all his colleagues, I’m sure that science would have developed much more quickly”.

Does that mean we will never again have a famous name in technology? People in this industry today are having their ideas shared almost immediately to colleagues. So we may develop faster as a whole, but no one person will ever stand out from the rest of his society as much as Galileo did.