Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Time-Space Distanciation, Disembedding, and Communication through the Internet

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anthony Giddens (1990) in his book, The Consequences of Modernity, analyzes how our lives are ordered across time and space:

The conceptual framework of time-space distanciation directs our attention to the complex relations between local involvements (circumstances of co-presence) and interactions across distance (the connection of presence and absence). In the modern era, the level of time-space distanciation is much higher than in any previous period, and the relations between local and distant social forms and events become correspondingly stretched.

The articulation of social life is altered as time and space are reorganized through the internet and electronic communication. With face-to-face interaction, there is co-presence and with postal correspondence, the written message must travel across space for communication to be established. In electronic communication, however, immediacy is separated from presence. (Mendoza, 2000). In using the internet as a means of sending messages and sharing ideas and emotions, individuals can be co-present in time though they are physically absent from each other and separated in space. Thus there is “immediacy of co-presence without co-location. Interaction is freed from the hold of place.”

Using Giddens' conception of 'structure', the World Wide Web, however, can be both enabling and constraining – enabling, because it opens up endless possibilities for communication to happen despite the lack of co-presence; constraining, because being separated in space limits the quality of our interactions.

Disembedding - defined as “the lifting out of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space – is what happens when we communicate through the web. Because of it, the color and texture of our lives are altered. When a stranger who lives in an entirely different world with a completely different time zone understands us more than those whom we see everyday and share office space with, then something profound and drastic has been changed in our routinary, day-to-day experience. The proximate has been infiltrated by the far-flung; the intimate is soaked with the exotic and the unknown. And our life, as we know it, is altered completely.

11 comments:

Daddo said...

Post Review ***** Five stars seminal, but inscrutable by dingbats like me Arrrrghghghghhhhh! ;) Another brilliant post by the agnostic thaumaturge! I read it with reverent awe and I am now very much educated.

Gist: If an intellectual snob is not understood by the undead around him/her there is always someone in the internet who will. ;)

Angeli said...

hi.. i was awed by Giddens' Structuration Theory when we took him up in one of our subjects (SDS 290-Social Science Concepts). and giddens is still alive, by the way. :) i can still remember how my classmates and I were reviewing for our comprehensive exams. we had endless discussions about various philosophers (of course, Marx was our supreme being!). and we called such discussions as intellectual orgies. :)

Angeli said...

do you agree with what the post is trying to say?

Daddo said...

Absolutely!

I read recently, Butch Dalisay’s column in Filipinas magazine on how his unica hija, Demi, met her beau through her blog. He is U.S. born Filipino-American living in San Diego; she is based in the Philippines. And they are now married. Disrupted daily routines and altered lives, yeah!

Angeli said...

yeah, i read about that too. the wedding took place in a boat. very romantic.. :)

Angeli said...

is your's (i mean your life)altered?

Daddo said...

Nah! I still put my pants one leg at a time. ;) You altered my life though and did it in just over a month. And I can’t thank you enough.

How about you?

Angeli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angeli said...

and you just said that you can take a hint... tsk, tsk, tsk.. :)

i spent a night going through my lecture notes (from my class a million years ago), looking for a theoretical framework to write a post - to tell you that that is precisely what you did to my life. you altered it.

Daddo said...

Not guilty. Peksman! ;)

Anonymous said...

thank u..this was beneficial and clearly understood!

 
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