Liquid labour: global media industries and the costs of immaterial production
First, telegraph to cyberspace and next the fundamental changes in the global perception of culture and daily life. In 1969 when Peter Ducker coined the term ‘knowledge worker’ there would be little to no expectation that the industries of the future would change from manual workers to knowledge workers but in fact this concept changed the practical foundation of modern day businesses.
Why has this only happened now? The answer is hidden within microelectronics and software-based communication technologies. Bradwell (2008) has identified this formed relationship within the ‘increasing importance and visibility of social networks at work’. These networks are powering everything from professional service firms to at home businesses. I say this with first-hand experience as I witnessed an international cake maker (and my neighbour- Verusca Walker) give up her fundamental job of working or should I say the physical concept of walking into a workplace to becoming a networking capitalist online or in other words a ‘Youtuber’. She has utilised the fact social media is ‘cheaper, faster and more widespread’ (Bradwell, 2008) to promote her work. Taking advantage of the way social networks are constructed and therefore embracing the connections it allows her to ‘share’ her work.
This is the new era which utilizing social networking to promote businesses can lead to the entire business being moved online. This seems like a great idea, right? Not only distributing and controlling information through our own computers but being products of platforms like Google. We are the surplus value, the connectors keeping the information flowing. Ideal? Not so much. It is argued that we are blurring the borders between work and leisure and implementing homogenization in our use of cyberspace.
However, I say blur these borders. Witnessing my neighbor utilizing the new paradigm, the internet and changing from physically flying overseas every few weeks to now (literally) rolling out of bed to her kitchen to film Youtube tutorials and get paid by the platform is a framework for the ideal framework of our era of information flow. Who knows, one day we might all be knowledge workers in the world of cyberspace. Sounds superhuman !
This video compares the way we interact with social media like the effects of a drug.
‘Changed our verbal communication with increased separation’