The Network Society

In the industrial and pre-industrial age, people used to work according to the rhythm of biological time. Although fraught with hardship (physically), life was simple.

The network society, a dominant structure emerging in the information age introduces a new form of time: timeless time. The notion of “timeless time” is characterised by the use of new communication technologies to eradicate time by condensing “years in seconds, seconds in split seconds.” (Castells 1999)

This change in the concept of time has brought a shift in the way people now work. Work is more specialised and changeable as it is project-based. This means that the modes of work are increasingly expanding from permanent jobs to short-term, subcontract and even freelance.

Because work is now multi-sited and multi-temporal, people can do work whenever and wherever they want. However, this could provide people with a false sense of freedom.

As Harbison (2011) mentioned, new media breaks down geographical boundaries. This suggests that work/life balance is increasingly blurred in this network society as people can be called up for work related matters even on holiday.

The ‘freedom’ and mobility the network society gives us comes at a cost, but it is not to say that we should be slaves to this society.


Castells, M. 1999. “An Introduction to the Information Age.” In The Media Reader: continuity and transformation, edited by Hugh Mackay & TimO’Sullivan, 398-410. London: Sage.

Harbison, J. 2011. “Lets get engaged to new media.” Jessica Harbison, March 12, 2011. Accessed April 17, 2011.

  1. This is an excellent post! I have often considered this very thing, as more business hire 24 hour staff we also erase the concept of night time as rest time.

    • As most of us are connected 24/7, it often leads to people/colleagues calling up for favours. It’s give and take- we put ourselves out there to be connected and updated with the things that are going on.

  1. April 18th, 2011
  2. April 18th, 2011
  3. April 18th, 2011
  4. April 18th, 2011

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