I’ve always thought of the internet as being like an ecosystem. A new force, breathing life into technologies and, like was explained in the lecture, making them tangibly social. (Mitew 2014)
“physical objects, once networked and imbued with informatic capabilities, will occupy space and occupy themselves in a world in which things were once quite passive.” – (Bleecker 2006)
The notion of passivity is closely related to the concepts of prosuming and produsage. We are the people formerly know as the audience (Rosen 2006) The framework for a decentralised network distribution existed quite some time before the advancement of technology and mobile devices which then became the driving force behind a mass shift towards our current participatory culture.
Nodes – or us, the users – aren’t limited to simple message to message frameworks anymore. . The capabilites of our rapidly changing Internet and subsequent technologies (or in the context of this situation, ‘things’) mean that we can send and transmit messages beyond words on a paper (figuratively speaking). This means attitudes, beliefs, emotions, wants, desires, needs and many other elements traditionally restricted to human-human contact become accessible in more avenues.
There is such a rapid change occurring, not just to the way we communicate but the way in which day-to-day ‘things’ in our lives communicate with each other. With this technology now pervading every minute of most of our lives, social discourse is transforming, the rules of occupancy are rearranging and patterns of mobility within the physical world are shifting. (Bleecker 2006)
We’ve created a global environment where in our activity and interaction with the Internet is only a fraction of the ‘active’ forces involved. While we’re inarguably crucial for the sustainability of the Internet framework, will this always be the case? The pros and cons of such development are endless. On the one side, the interconnectivity of things has transformed day-to-day life. However as it always has there will be concerns surrounding issues of privacy, surveillance, subjectivity, materiality, and memory. (Mitew 2014) Forget the smart phone, most ‘things’ are smart now. “In effect, the planet has grown a central nervous system and is developing intelligence. It’s becoming a much smarter planet.” (IBM.com)
Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’
Mitew, T. (2014), ‘The internet of things: from networked objects to anticipatory spaces’, lecture, accessed on 22/10/14.