local communities. However, what we can observe now, in perhaps comparable
intensity, is the influence of local knowledge and local information in shaping global
networks. It is in this tension between the local and the global that net locality
unfolds. Net locality changes the meaning and value of the web, not because
the technology has determined that to be the case, but because people have
adopted networked technologies for local purposes. After roughly 20 years of
existence, it is clear now that the web needs to be understood in its local context.
The time has passed for comparing virtuality and physicality. We do not leave our
bodies, even momentarily, for digital interactions. And increasingly, we do not leave
the context of our locality in order to interact with and within digital networks. We
exist in communities, neighborhoods, networks, and spaces. The global networks
that enable these interactions shape the conditions, but they do not produce
meaning. Meaning is produced locally. (Gordon & de Souza e Silva, 2011, p.
The extension of the previous idea that “meaning is produced locally” requires the tagline
“when engaged in relationship,” because it is at that junction where emergent possibilities
for creative adventures and performances exist.
From “Me” to “We”: Freelancers Live There
This place of chaos and confusion is really a birthing ground for change and growth.
Where are we? We are at a crossroads where crisis is presenting an opportunity to move
from an individualistic “me” orientation to a more inclusive and interdependent “we”
sensibility. Linked in is not just a professional networking site but a metaphor for the cultural
connectivity that is now happening. The era of the rugged individualist is now being slowly
being supplanted with an evolving view of interdependence and mutual cooperation. As
Kenneth Gergen notes:
In the 1980’s evolutionary biologists began to question the Darwinian assumptions
about the relationships among species. With careful attention to detail, an
alternative view emerged. The relationship was not one of competition, but co-
evolution. That is, the survival of various species could be linked to the survival of
other species, with whom they existed in a mutually symbiotic relationship.
(Gergen, 2009, pp. 381-382)
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