Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle - Edit

In her essay, "Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle," Danah Boyd discusses the phenomenon of our current generation: always being connected to a network. No matter how or when or why you are connected, whether through the use of a cell phone with a Wi-Fi connection, a tablet, or a computer, we are always connected. There are various means of this connection as well, through the usage of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on and on and on....), text messaging, and websites and blogs, we are constantly connected to a network. As Boyd says, "I don't always check Wikipedia during dinner, but when there's a disagreement, the interwebz are always there to save the day. And, I fully admit, I definitely surf the web while on the toilet," (Mandiberg, 2012).
Teenagers and younger children these days are growing up immersed in an "always-on lifestyle", (see Danah Boyd's new book, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens). Danah Boyd, an expert on culture and technology, looks deeper into the issue of teenagers and their connection to social media. Teenagers, having had access to the internet in some way, shape, or form for their entire lives, find no problem in their constant connection. Additionally, adults, who haven't grown up surrounded by the internet, are developing this connection because of demanding careers, or other family reasons.

As such, cell phones are one means of connection that have changed dramatically. Cellular phones developed out of the idea of the radio. From the radio, police radios were created, and from police radios, the car phone was created. The first cell phone, similar to how we know them today, was created in 1973, available to the public by large companies in 1988 ("Cell Phone History").

With the advances in cellular phones, how we are connected to the world has also advanced. As cell phones have advanced into touch screen phones, which have then transformed into tablets and iPads, the ways in which we are connected to everyone around have been changing and developing and transforming along with the transformations in technology.

After reading this essay, I have come to realize that, though we are always connected, we are okay with that and there haven't been many people who question their connectivity. As I sit here writing this entry, I have my phone right beside me, my e-mail open in one tab and I am logged onto Facebook in another. I am creating this Wiki in order to connect with my professors (and hopefully a few other Trent students). We live in a world where connection is the norm and, if you don't have a cell phone or a Twitter or a blog or even a Facebook page, people look at you differently, as if you just walked off the pages of a Jane Austen novel.


Boyd, D. (n.d). It's complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Danah. Retrieved from itscomplicated/

Boyd, D. (2012). Participating in the always-on lifestyle. In M. Mandiberg (Ed.), The social media reader (pp. 71-76). New York: New York University Press.

Smale, C., & Smale, S. (2004). Cell phone history. ThinkQuest. Retrieved from home.htm