How the internet has changed time and space, from a modernist perspective.

Essay by grrrowdyUniversity, Bachelor'sA, September 2003

download word file, 12 pages 4.1

At the beginning of the third millenium, how we view and experience space and time is very different from how it was viewed at the turn of the last century. The reason for this is modern technology - as modernisation and technology have progressed and inevitably changed, so too have the qualities of space and time. This has been no more apparent than in the development of the Internet, which has changed space and time in ways which citizens of the Modernist era could scarcely have imagined.

The mid to late nineteenth century was a time of major upheaval. The Modernist era brought innovations such as the telephone, radio, steam train and electric light, which changed not only how people saw themselves in relation to others, but also how they saw themselves in their own personal space and time. As progress brought about civilising and enlightening aspects to society, people began to question not only how such innovations worked, but how the individual was affected by them and, by extension, how space and time had changed.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, our concept of time was linked to the natural rhythms of the seasons. We knew that after four seasons, we would be one year older. Out internal clocks were diurnal; we rose with the sun and went to bed when the sun went down. As technology and modernisation progressed, our concept of time changed.

As individuals were increasingly drawn into an urban,

factory-based system of employment, the experience

of the flow of time became increasingly linked to the

time-keeping mechanisms required for the synchronization

of labour and the organization of the working week.

(Thompson, 1995, p. 36).

The urbanization of the environment, and subsequent events such as the introduction of shift-work in factories, brought about a change in...