ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΙΑΣ - ΤΜΗΜΑ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑΣ ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΚΗΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ
Human networks are not new. Before books, TV, or Facebook, we were already always connected to those around us. The eras of manuscript, print, and commercial broadcasting are best understood as only an awkward silence in the long chatter of human history. Now, the digital roar of everyday communication online has broken that silence. From homemade videos of ourselves mimicking rock stars to gathering advice in online forums about which guns and ammunition to hoard, this raucous situation is really just a return to our normal state of being: humans enacting social networks with their everyday talk. Today, however, that talk is fueled by digital communication technologies. By decreasing the influence of material factors like time and geography and increasing the influence of individual volition, digital networks magnify the authority everyday voices can carry. As the clamor of the everyday drowns out the traditional authority of institutions like churches, governments, and corporations, we can increasingly place the highest value on regular individuals expressing themselves to each other. With that power shift, however, comes significant responsibility. Only by acting together, can we foster the trust necessary to weave our sprawling diversity of online individuals into a new kind of global community.