Just as the automobile radically changed people’s lives at the beginning of the 20th century, so too has the revolution in online services (including blogging, podcasting, videogaming, shopping, and social networking) and cell-phone use changed our lives at the turn of the 21st century. In addition, many other services, activities, and devices—including the Palm Pilot, the BlackBerry, the iPod, digital cameras, and cell cameras—have been made possible by the combination of these two technologies. Whereas the automobile allowed people for the first time to work in cities and live comfortably in the suburbs, extending the long commute beyond the limits previously circumscribed by public transportation, the Internet and cell phone allow us to interact with others from around the world—or a few hundred miles—from where we work or live, giving rise to the telecommuting phenomenon and allowing us to stay in touch with friends and families in the new virtual environment. As Hanson demonstrates in her new book, these technologies enable us to work and play 24/7, anytime, anywhere.
What does this mean for us as individuals and for society as a whole? What are the social implications of this technological revolution that we have witnessed in the short span of about 20 years? Do people of different generations use these technologies in the same ways, or do they adopt them to support their communication habits formed at different times of their lives? How does the illusion of control provided by these technologies affect the way we think about what is meaningful in our lives? Hanson examines the wide-ranging impact of this change. How do individuals posting their viewpoints on the Internet affect democracy? Is it possible to ever completely prevent identity theft over the Internet? How permanent is information stored on the Internet or on a hard drive? Do cell phones change the way people think about privacy or the way they communicate with others? Does email? Do videogames teach new social principles? Do cell phones and the Internet change traditional communication behaviors and attitudes? Hanson discusses these crucial issues and explores to what extent individuals do have control, and she assesses how social and governmental services are responding to (or running from) the problems posed by these new technologies.
Reviews"Hanson provides a concise, readable overview of the impact of cell phones and the Internet on every aspect of our lives, from individual habits and relationships to national and international social and cultural norms. Cell phones and the Internet offer users an illusion of greater control over their lives, but they also lead to expectations and behavior changes that can cause stress and anxiety and threaten or at least alter social and political structures. Others have raised these issues, but Hanson has collected solid data from many sources, which she presents in clear, well-organized chapters spiced with good examples and anecdotes.... Highly recommended. General readers; students, upper-division undergraduates and up; faculty and practitioners."—Choice, January 1, 2008
"Hanson explores the cultural impact in the United States of widespread and growing cell phone and Internet access and use. First providing a sociological profile of who uses these communication technologies and why, she subsequently offers chapters that examine the way some people lose personal control over their use of these technologies, the technologies' uses as avenues of public information exchange, social networking and loss of privacy, developing issues of copyright and intellectual property, and impacts on older technologies such as public telephone booths and traditional media."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2007
"It's time someone took a thorough look at the sweeping changes that cell phones and the Internet have wrought on our society. These phenomena have certainly changed the way I work, without giving me much leisure to consider their effect. Kudos to Jarice Hanson for examining a big, important, and fast-changing subject."—Corey Flintoff
National Public Radio
"Dr. Hanson's exploration of digital technologies' 24/7 impact on the dramatic shifts in the culture, content, distribution and integrity of broadcast news is right on target. Her text is a primer for serious and enhanced discussion by the public and professionals. 24/7 should ignite serious discussion among laymen and professionals about who really controls the culture, content, dissemination and integrity of information."—Victor M. Webb, KCBS 2 / KCAL 9 News, Los Angeles
"24/7 gives us an excellent historical journey of emergent personal technologies and how the changing generational niche audiences use these technologies to help form people's attitudes, behaviors, and values toward technology use, education delivery systems, and social life."—Daniel J. K. Bardy, Ed.D. College of Education, Concordia University, Chicago
"A highly accessible, thought-provoking and informative book that examines the cultural changes in America brought about by the cell phone and the internet. The best book on the subject so far."—Cynthia Gottshall, Ph.D. Chair of Communication and Theatre Arts Department, Mercer University, Georgia