Our current distributed network topology has effectively broken away from its previous restrictive ‘centralised’ form and has consequently adapted to its ever-changing virtual environment.
Just like our current network topology, the distributed network, a breakdown of traditional borders has occurred; the borders between online and offline.
Due to the readily available nature of the internet, it becomes increasingly easier to work from home. In the network society paradigm, this phenomenon is otherwise known as ‘liquid labour‘. This notion of liquid labour and ‘workforce flexibility‘ has seen a breakdown of borders between work and leisure, as well as personal space.
You see, for free information to be flowing, there is a need for the worker to be constantly available, and as distributed networks have broken down borders between online and offline life, liquid labour is unrestrained.
In other words, the homogenization of time and space occurs.
As long as information is flowing, your personal and local time space becomes irrelevant. This may increase your work value, but what about your life value?
Consequently, liquid labour has seen US become the machines, the machines that drive these distributed networks.
Additionally, this has resulted in a “presence bleed“, meaning we are never really in one place anymore; we are simultaneously online and offline and social media is a big facilitator of this existence.
The phenomenon of online gaming has seen extreme cases of presence bleed.
This example presents the terrifying aspects of presence bleed and what can happen when the lines between real life and virtual life have become so blurred that we forget to live.
I would be livid with myself if I became so indulged in virtual life that even the scent of fresh spag-bog could not bring me back.