vrijdag 3 december 2010

Nowism, Liquid Modernity

In the still rapidly expanding online world, instant gratification is even easier to obtain: 'digital' has become synonymous with 'instant'. Furthermore, if something digital/online is too slow, too cumbersome, too poorly written, or too boring, a substitute is only a search term and a click away. And yes, this is indirectly setting consumers' expectations for the 'real' world, too.
P.S. For a broader view on NOWISM, please (re-)read Zygmunt Bauman's (a Polish sociologist) musings on what he has dubbed Liquid Modernity. Here are some snippets to get you going:

"Liquid Modernity" is Bauman's term for the present condition of the world as contrasted with the "solid" modernity that preceded it. According to Bauman, the passage from "solid" to "liquid" modernity has created a new and unprecedented setting for individual life pursuits, confronting individuals with a series of challenges never before encountered. Social forms and institutions no longer have enough time to solidify and cannot serve as frames of reference for human actions and long-term life plans, so individuals have to find other ways to organize their lives.
Individuals have to splice together an unending series of short-term projects and episodes that don't add up to the kind of sequence to which concepts like "career" and "progress" could be meaningfully applied.

Such fragmented lives require individuals to be flexible and adaptable — to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics at short notice, to abandon commitments and loyalties without regret and to pursue opportunities according to their current availability. In liquid modernity the individual must act, plan actions and calculate the likely gains and losses of acting (or failing to act) under conditions of endemic uncertainty."

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