The Liquid Self: Exploring the Ubiquitous Nature of the Future Internet and Its Pervasive Consequences on Social Life

Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 17)

Abstract

The Internet has experienced exponential growth over the last two decades, progressively and definitively becoming a key factor both in the socialization process and in the shaping of personal identity and social life worldwide. This actually places us, as human beings, at a historical crossroads resulting from both existing and potential technological advances that may induce radical bifurcations concerning social change and human evolution. This chapter is an attempt to decipher that crossroads through the identification of some basic factors in relation to this phenomenon and a reflection on potential pathways towards which this process may lead us. The text is divided into four main parts, starting with the introduction, where some considerations about social reality as a construction are briefly mentioned. The second part is a description of the main factors and processes that are considered influences on current technological advancement and its impact on social life. The third part is more exploratory and explores in further developments concerning the relationship between machines—mainly computers—and human beings. In the fourth part, three scenarios are considered as possible images for the future, and are described in a narrative/creative way. Finally, in the epilogue, the author summarizes the main conclusions by building a general vision connected to his personal views, experiences, and underlying influences.

Keywords

Future Internet Social change Technological ubiquity Scenario analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FUTURLAB-University of Alicante, Spain, Edificio de Ciencias SocialesAlicanteSpain

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