Showing posts with label leisure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leisure. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Another review out on my book 'The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0'

Kevin Driscoll a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, has written a thoughtful review of my book, The Leisure Commons, A Spatial history of Web 2.0 for the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

Here are some excerpts from the review:
"Arora’s analysis of social media centers on a comparison with an older spatial technology that was also introduced with a bloom of optimism and collective imagination: the public park. For Arora, social media and the public park are both part of “the leisure commons,” spaces designed primarily for collective, nonutilitarian purposes such as play, relaxation, and socializing."

"One of Arora’s goals in The Leisure Commons is to put the critical study of social media in dialogue with the interdisciplinary body of research on urban parks. Readers will be quickly convinced by Arora’s wide-ranging exploration of park metaphors that the two fields share a number of core theoretical concerns.”

Click here for the full review

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review of my paperback out: "The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0"

When we write books, it seems to take forever and yet, once published, it is amazing how quickly it disappears from our horizons as we move to the next project. The academic rat wheel I guess. So it is always a pleasant surprise to encounter a positive review of one's book, reminding one of all the energy and passion that went into the makings of the book.

My recently published book, The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0  was reviewed for the Journal of Popular Culture by Kiranjeet Dhillon of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Here is an excerpt: “Readers will value Arora’s argumentative advances from chapter to chapter. Arora thoroughly explains and articulates The Leisure Commons and appeals to a vast inter-disciplinary audience of media, rhetorical, visual culture, critical/culture studies, history, and geography scholars. In particular, media and rhetorical scholars will find that Arora’s metaphorical framework offers insight in regards to the digital public sphere, leisure space, virtual activism, online privacy, digital labor, and globalization of virtual networks. Media and communication scholars will appreciate this insight, which illuminates and compels readers to analyze and theorize the rhetorics of the public sphere, digi-tality, and leisure space through a new heuristic vocabulary.”

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Digital Labor talk on the 'Googlization of Workspace' at New School

video
Fascinating conference with artists, activists, neo-marxists, anarchists and oh yes, academics congregating to pontificate, demonstrate, and debate the relation between labor and leisure, the neoliberal agenda of the so called sharing economies, pleasure and compensation and more. Definitely worth going next year! Here's a short video on my argument on what I coin as the Googlization of Workspace. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Special Guest Editorial on 'ICTs for Leisure in Development' is out now!


Nimmi Rangaswamy and I served as Guest editors for the Information Technologies and International Development Journal on the theme of 'ICTs for Leisure in Development.' This is a nice step towards our book  Poor@Play that is expected to come out with Harvard University Press in mid 2016.

So why this Special Issue? Well, contrary to the peripheral connotation of leisure, this Special Issue makes the case of it being central to technology adoption and use in the development context. In this issue, we put together various original research studies that reconceptualize ICT mobilization and serviceability to extend beyond a conservative understanding of developmental value. We strive to drive home the following points, namely:

Leisure is a critical area of technology infusion that leads to discovery and magnification of digital literacies. Moreover, leisure offers an experimental space to informally diffuse learnings and impart social impacts that bind people and technologies.

As mobile technologies move beyond urban areas and the upper classes who can afford them, it is essential to bring together stories about crafting technologies that include a spectrum of playful behaviors as mainstream ICTD research.

The ICTD community at large is poised at a juncture where interdisciplinary crossings are pushing the boundaries of established themes and subject matters, providing an opportunity to move away from ICTD’s established viewpoints.

Authors for this Leisure in Development Special Section are:
Pamela Abbott, Brunel University, UK
Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa, USA
Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University, USA
Beth Kolko, University of Washington, USA
Elisa Oreglia, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Peppino Ortoleva, University of Torino, Italy
Robert Racadio, University of Washington, USA
Araba Sey, University of Washington, USA
Dinah Tetteh, Bowling Green State University, USA
Melissa Tully, University of Iowa, USA

Read these ITID articles published September 10, 2014 at http://itidjournal.org


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Book out! The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 (Routledge)




About the book: There is much excitement about Web 2.0 as an unprecedented, novel, community-building space for experiencing, producing, and consuming leisure, particularly through social network sites. What is needed is a perspective that is invested in neither a utopian or dystopian posture but sees historical continuity to this cyberleisure geography. This book investigates the digital public sphere by drawing parallels to another leisure space that shares its rhetoric of being open, democratic, and free for all: the urban park. It makes the case that the history and politics of public parks as an urban commons provides fresh insight into contemporary debates on corporatization, democratization and privatization of the digital commons. This book takes the reader on a metaphorical journey through multiple forms of public parks such as Protest Parks, Walled Gardens, Corporate Parks, Fantasy Parks, and Global Parks, addressing issues such as virtual activism, online privacy/surveillance, digital labor, branding, and globalization of digital networks. Ranging from the 19th century British factory garden to Tokyo Disneyland, this book offers numerous spatial metaphors to bring to life aspects of new media spaces. Readers looking for an interdisciplinary, historical and spatial approach to staid Web 2.0 discourses will undoubtedly benefit from this text.

 --------------------------------------------
So, I had the idea for this book way back in my student days at Columbia and it even reached a point of crisis. I was torn between two topics as some of you may have experienced as a doctorate student- of staying with my topic and conducting ethnographic fieldwork on social computing in the Himalayas or taking on this new topic which required a more sociological/ interdisciplinary lens and an extra 2 years.Changing mentors, methods, plans!! I chose the former and thankfully I did as it was an amazing and unforgettable experience in the field. It got published by Ashgate titled, 'Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas.' 

When I came to Holland, the idea still persisted; hovered in the back of my mind constantly, so I decided to pursue it. After all, if an idea nags you this much and stays with you for years, then you owe it! You need to see it through and so that's what I did. I wrote a couple of grants for it and was super happy when I learnt that I had won the EUR Fellowship that would give me two years of funding to just write this book! What a rare luxury in academia. So I guess persistence pays :) 

 It has been tremendous fun working on this as it has taken me to such different disciplines and scarily, made me an expert on every possible type of park you can think of :) It took me to the field of architecture, urban planning, cultural geography and law. What a trip!

So yes, this book is definitely interdisciplinary. People love to encourage it. The challenge though about pursuing this track is that often you get punished for it. You have no one home that you can be truly loyal to and somehow academia demands loyalty; academia is all about territoriality. And not to forget that you are encroaching on fields and pastures that you are unfamiliar with and then demanding  from yourself something thoughtful and reflective of that field. That was by far the hardest part of this book but also the most rewarding!

So when it came to reviewers for the book, of course I chose diverse disciplines as I could not commit to one- it just would not reflect the efforts of this book: top scholars  such as Saskia Sassen (sociologist), Paul Adams (geographer), Arjun Appadurai (anthropologist), and Zizi Papacharissi (media scholar) volunteered to review this book. I have to admit, it was nerve-wrecking but am so happy that when the reviews came out, they were positive! So perhaps interdisciplinary work can work sometimes :-) 

Here are the Reviews! 
"Arora offers us another invitation, which is a refreshing departure from the breathlessness of many studies of the new technologies, and that is the chance to slow down, to pause, to contemplate our surroundings, to smell a possibly political rose. That she finds this potential in the very heart of digitality is one of the many surprises of this thoughtful and wide-ranging book." - From the Foreword by Arjun Appadurai,Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New YorkUniversity

"This is a brilliant navigation of worlds that are not usually brought in conversation: digital space and thick situated struggles engaged in claim-making in the urban sphere. Payal Arora has deep knowledge and experience of both these worlds. Out of this encounter comes a concept the author deploys in diverse ways to mark digital space: the leisure commons." - Saskia Sassen, Columbia University and author ofExpulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

"In this engaging volume, Arora applies the rich metaphor of the public park to explicate the many ways in which net-based technologies facilitate, but also converge activities of a social, political, cultural and economic nature. Technology as architecture invites, amplifies, but also conceals or discourages. It disrupts and it sustains our daily endeavors into sociality, work, play and fantasy. Arora uses the metaphor of public parks to tell the story of how digital media support us through our daily lives. Through lively writing and layers of intriguing analogies, she compels the reader to think with her, as she explores what technology does to space. Arora lays out an intriguing vision of online environments as technology supported meta-parks that facilitate not just limitless connection, but, better living." - Zizi Papacharissi, Professor and Head of Communications,University of Illinois at Chicago


"Payal Arora offers the insight that social media are the latest chapter in a long history of spaces including city parks, walled gardens, office parks, fantasy theme parks and other semi-public, leisure-oriented environments. By framing new technological trends in terms of a 'leisure commons,' her work fills a gap that remained between the spatial metaphors that have proven helpful to make sense of new technologies, and a nuanced realization of how thoroughly leisure practices have permeated daily life." - Paul C. Adams, Associate Professor of Geography andDirector of Urban Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New partnership with Microsoft India Researcher bears fruit


Nimmi Rangaswamy from Microsoft Research Labs India and I have been working on creating momentum in shifting the focus of ICTs for International Development (ICT4D) research towards a broader and less utilitarian perspective. Over the years, it has been interesting to see how Nimmi and I through our independent anthropological fieldwork were coming to a similar conclusion on the need to pay attention to "leisure" behavior of Internet users in emerging markets if we are to genuinely understand the multiple dimensions of new media practice in the global South. For instance, her research with Kentaro Toyama on cyberkiosks revealed the following:

From field ethnography, we find that urban youth slang and speech styles do not lag behind in villages. Neither do communication styles and channels. Instant messaging is immediately embraced by younger kiosk operators. Fan clubs of matinee idols bring in youth fashion and trends along with film music. Most popular films and film music are released within a month in hub-towns. Cassettes, pulp-film magazines, and even VCDs are snapped up quickly by rural consumers. We found in one case, that women from a village in Tamil Nadu flocked to a rural kiosk where an online celebrity chat was organized with the director of a contemporary soap opera. (Rangaswamy and Toyoma 2006: 5)

Around the same time, my book "Dot Com Mantra: Social computing in Central Himalayas" (Ashgate Pub) amassed evidence of a range of primarily leisure practices that users engaged in at cybercafes in rural Himalayas challenging notions of how rural people would be driven to use these new tools for mainly socio-economic mobility.

So naturally, when Nimmi and I connected at the ICTD conference in London 2010, we schemed up ways in which we could work together. Since then, she has served as a guest lecturer for my course on ICTs and International Development over the last 2 years. Also, we recently submitted a panel for ICA, a commentary piece for review at the ITID journal and are currently working on a book proposal on this very topic. It is indeed exciting when one finds a collaborator who one can seamlessly work with!

So its good to know that all this effort is starting to pay off with the recent acceptance of our article for publication "Digital leisure for development: Reframing new media practice in the global south" by the Media Culture & Society journal.

Below is the Abstract of this paper and as you can see, this is really a call for a shift in research. We hope its useful to those in this field !
Photoshopping of newlyweds, downloading the latest movies, teens flirting on social network sites and virtual gaming may seem like typical behavior in the West; yet in the context of a village in Mali or a slum in Mumbai, it is seen as unusual and perhaps an anomaly in their new media practice. In recent years, some studies (Ganesh, 2010; Mitra, 2005; Author removed, 2010; 2012; 2nd Author removed 2012; Kavoori, Chadha & Arceneaux, 2006) have documented these leisure-oriented behaviors in the global south and argued for the need to emphasize and reposition these user practices within larger and contemporary discourses on new media consumption. Yet, for the most part, studies in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) have duly relegated such enactments as anecdotal. This is partly due to the fact that much of this research is driven by development agendas with a strong historical bias towards the socio-economic focus (Burrell & Anderson, 2009). Data that is not directly addressing project-based outcomes is sidelined. However, as emerging economies globalize and urbanize exponentially, and their users become more critical consumers and creative contributors of digital content or ‘prosumers’ (Bruns, 2008) and arguably free laborers (Scholz, 2012) instead of classic development beneficiaries, a paradigm shift is needed in approaching this new media audience with a more open-ended, explorative and pluralistic perspective.Thereby, this commentary piece serves as a call to rethink new media practices in the global south by looking at the implications and impacts of ICTs as leisure (entertainment/pleasure/ play) artifacts in the context of developing economies and emerging markets. We believe this line of inquiry is timely and enables a strategic bridging of the new media studies and development communication domain. Despite studies yielding insightful commentaries on ICTs in this arena, we believe resource constrained environments generating rich usages that are not overtly utilitarian have remained hitherto unexplored. A critical movement is needed among scholars focusing on emerging economies to re-conceptualize the mobilization and serviceability of ICTs to extend beyond a conservative understanding of developmental value. This will help in focusing on the heterogeneous and life enhancing aspects of technological use encompassing both experiential and purposive elements of ICT adoption: their interplay with systematic/systemic ecological constraints to provide an analytical and descriptive study of the technology spectrum and use in these contexts.
To illustrate our argument, we offer some critical points of contention that need addressing and new avenues for research if we are to rethink, reframe and refresh our thinking on Web 2.0 enactments in the global south. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

IDEAPLAY: New Media, Society & Change

Recently I was invited by the Department of Education at Michigan State University to give a public lecture and some interviews on how people learn to leisure and labor with new technologies in rural India. They did a wonderful job in capturing the interview through their multimedia portal IDEAPLAY, an excellent way to disseminate and share conversations that take place at this department. Below are the links for the interview:

IDEAPLAY: Payal Arora on New Media, Society and Change 

Learning to leisure and labor with new technologies in rural India

There is an intricate relationship between leisure, labor and learning. Much is revealed from eight-months of ethnographic fieldwork on computer-mediated social learning in rural India.  The role of educational institutions against informal learning spaces such as cybercafés in fostering digital engagements is explored. Issues of global knowledge constructions, plagiarism, and collaborative/peer based learning with computers is analyzed in this unique emerging market context.  The researcher gained employment at popular cybercafés to capture the spectrum of youth learning with new media spaces. It is found that leisure occupies a central position in the embracing of new media technologies and much labor goes into such playful and creative processes. Through Orkut, music downloads, instant messaging and dating, these cybercafés transform into recreational hubs while incidental learning occurs. New media spaces it is seen allow for new exposures and opportunities for learning; yet, what constitutes as ‘good’ learning is subjective to the nature of mediations, both social and technical. Collaborative and informal learning are liberated from formal curriculum and yet, such freedoms bring with it deep and persistent (mis)education. New kinds of expertise are created online that compels us to re-examine the role of the teacher as authority in knowledge construction. World knowledge is locally designed and is often not shared, creating cosmopolitanisms in global education. In essence, it is found that learning through digital spheres is indeed creative but not necessarily ‘correct’ by formal education standards nor compatible with global understandings.  Thereby, through a series of specific digital explorations and encounters by the youth, we learn that interaction does not necessarily equate to understanding, learning with new technologies can be peripheral and fleeting and that which gets learnt can diverge far from what is expected to be learnt.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Paper out "Leisure Divide: Can the poor come out to play?" by The Information Development Journal

My paper on "The Leisure Divide: Can the poor come out to play?" has just got published by the Information Development Journal Here's the Abstract: As billions of dollars are invested in mitigating the digital divide, stakes are raised to gain validity for these cost-intensive endeavors, focusing more on online activities that have clear socio-economic outcomes. Hence, farmers in rural India are watched closely to see how they access crop prices online, while their Orkuting gets sidelined as anecdotal. This paper argues that this is a fundamental problem as it treats users in emerging markets as somehow inherently different from those in the West. After all, it is now commonly accepted that much of what users do online in developed nations is leisure-oriented. This perspective does not crossover as easily into the Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) world, where the utilitarian angle reigns. This paper argues that much insight can be gained in bridging worlds of ICT4D and New Media studies. By negating online leisure in ‘Third World’ settings, our understandings on this new user market can be critically flawed.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Paper presentations at the IAMCR Conference 2011 in Istanbul

I'll also be presenting on the following topics at the IAMCR conference 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey:

1) CULTURES OF CYBERSPACE: A PEDAGOGIC FRAMEWORK

It has taken the past decade to commonly acknowledge that cyberspace is tethered to real place. From euphoric conceptualizations of virtual space as novel, unprecedented and revolutionary an entity, the dust has settled, allowing for talk of boundaries and ties to real world settings. Metaphors have faithfully followed this scholarship; there is a clear mission to architect Net spaces, be it chatrooms, electronic frontiers, homepages, to information highways. This metaphorical approach allows for concretization and comprehension of Net spaces for policy regulation, private sector practice and pedagogic instruction. This paper focuses particularly on the pedagogic angle, providing a rubric of guidance for university professors to address the critical relationship of the real and virtual in new media studies programs. This paper proposes a conceptual framework of applying metaphors to systematize the connect between online and offline spaces. The design of spaces can be conceptualized into 5 typologies: utilitarian-driven, aesthetic-driven, context-driven, play-driven and value-driven, making explicit the diversity of online spaces and its innate characteristics. This framework applies lessons learnt from the architecting of real space to virtual space. In doing so, it spans the field of urban planning, architecture, and new media studies. Currently, there is little guidance for instructors in new media on how to teach this relationship of the real and virtual. Thereby, this pedagogic framework will allow professors and students to engage in the comprehension of cyberspace through a more sophisticated and interdisciplinary avenue.

II. WALLED GARDENS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PRIVATE-PUBLIC NATURE OF ONLINE LEISURE
(Under the Program: Between Security and Privacy. Understanding the Balance be-tween Surveillance and Data Protection as
Local, Regional and Global Policy Issues)

In this Web 2.0 era, contemporary leisure is dominantly situated within the online sphere. It is now commonly believed that much of what users do online is of a social nature and if we are to understand their enactments, online spatial analysis of these cyberleisure spaces is a good starting point. This paper thereby proposes that if the Internet can be seen as a “digital city,” its online leisure spaces need to be seen as its virtual parks. Social network sites and parks share much rhetoric in common- they are both perceived as free, universal, democratic and non-utilitarian in nature. Yet, if we are to take on this metaphorical comparison through a historical and comparative analysis, we will discover the ongoing politics of keeping these leisure spaces “public.” For instance, the making of parks in the 19th century involved a significant struggle to shift from the State to the masses. Also, parks across nations and cultures, although one of the seemingly least regulated public spaces, is in fact bounded by social, cultural and economic constraints that shape its very nature. Furthermore, an interesting discussion can stem from the fact that contemporary leisure spaces are finding themselves more within “gated communities,” both online and offline, highlighting an interesting and important dimension of the semi-private nature of cyberleisure spaces. This paper leverages and re(situates) Habermas’s theory on the public sphere, essential for our understandings on notions of ownership, authority, regulation, class, inclusivity/exclusivity in relation to leisure. The tensions of the public and private can be revealed through this parallel as we delve into questions of current importance in relation to online leisure: can we equate “public” space with “free” space? What are the trade-offs involved in keeping a social space “free?” How do we understand the notion of access to these cyberleisure spaces in relation to its current socio-cultural and economic boundaries? How “open” are contemporary leisure spaces and what are its determining factors? Overall, an analysis of the public versus private nature of cyberleisure spaces, both online and offline can shed light on what regulates and shapes contemporary leisure.

IAMCR Conference 2011 in Istanbul: Theme: Cities, Creativity, Connectivity



Istanbul, here we come! The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) will be starting next week from the 12th to 18th of July with papers surrounding the theme of Cities, Creativity, Connectivity.

I'll be Chairing a Program session on the "Second Wave of the Digital Divide" as well as presenting a paper on the following topic:

The leisure divide: Can the Third World come out to play?

In this Web 2.0 era, evidence is mounting on human ingenuity and creativity with and within online spheres. Much has been documented on how users innovate in a myriad of ways, opening possible economic and techno-social opportunities through play. From initially being viewed as “wasteful” and “idle,” cyberleisure is slowly but steadily being recognized as potentially productive, labor intensive and commercially fruitful. In fact, online leisure has stimulated a virtual economy where “dragon sabers,” a cyberweapon of the Legend of Mir III sells on ebay and “Farmville,” an online farming application on Facebook propels users to speed up their virtual harvest with real currency. In this global and information society, such innovation has become fundamental to getting ahead as the rat race moves online. That said, when we look at the world of ICT and international development, a different story seems to emerge. Much focus is placed on how the Net is being used for a range of utilitarian means such as healthcare, education, to employment. An army of commercial ethnographers from Microsoft, Intel, Google and Hewlett Packard as well as the usual INGO suspects, have been unleashed to capture the newly empowered in action. As billions of dollars are being invested to bridge the digital divide in developing countries, much is at stake on amassing evidence that the poor are, in fact, leapfrogging chronic socio-economic barriers through ICT. Hence, visions of the farmer accessing crop prices online, ridding himself of the tyranny of the middlemen infuse policymakers and practitioner discourses, streamlining research agendas even more so on measuring how ICT is being used for utilitarian ends. However, the underlying assumption here is that somehow users in Third World countries are inherently and intrinsically different somehow from the Western world. While there is no pretense on the fact that what most users do online in the West are primarily “purposeless” – social networking, porn, idle browsing and media consumption and production, there seems to be a belief that users in the emerging markets will have a more conventional work ethic online; they will virtuously reach out for ways to get information for healthcare diagnostics and treatment, online education to agricultural best practices. While undoubtedly this happens, this paper argues that there is a possibility that much of what users do even in Third World countries is, in fact, heavily leisure oriented.To build this case, this paper first examines the relationship between labor and leisure, a) historically and b) comparatively, online and offline. After which, we investigate how new information and communication technology usage has been perceived over time in the Third world nations - intentions versus actual practices. Lastly, this paper traces out the commonalities between supposed First and Third world nation’s practices of new media usage, making the argument that we need to stop exoticizing users in ‘emerging markets’ as more utilitarian driven and work conscious. Instead, this paper calls for a conscious inclusion of cyberleisure in the larger analysis of new media usage in supposed Third World countries.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Digital absence: The modern day sabbatical?






When you speak of sabbaticals, you perhaps picture a professor of art history sitting at a café in Florence, trying to come up with a new spin on Uffizi art. It seems that academia has usurped this practice that has been enveloped in biblical meaning for the longest of time. This hiatus from work has had the weight of Ten Commandments backing it up, allowing the masses to justify their temporal ceasing to labor. Henceforth, the weekend was born. Granted, this is a rather simplistic interpretation. Of course one needs to take into account other phenomena such as the industrialization era where leisure began to be viewed as not necessarily a waste of time but actually that which could enhance productivity. In fact, these strategic interruptions have served as a signal of the modern era where a society sees its inherent virtue. So the question is not on whether or not it is advisable to desist working for some time but rather, how long is it acceptable to leisure before it is viewed as unproductive? The weekend is now an accepted notion and serves as a common motivation for the average modern day laborer as they “slave” away in their routines of day-to-day work, keeping in mind the reward of a relaxing weekend with family and friends. However, beyond that, the option of time-off for its own sake is rather an alien concept in most private sectors.

Also, who is allowed to temporarily cease from labor and why? Sabbaticals implicitly bring to mind privileged white-collar workers where this is seen as a strategic incentive to sustain and retain this elite working class. And what happens when blue-collar workers embark on the same path? It will usually be perceived as part-time work or ill health, signals of a poor economic climate perhaps. Much like what makes a foreigner an “expat” versus an “immigrant” has more to do with economics than with other social aspects.

And of course, what constitutes as non-working time as new media infiltrates and blurs boundaries on work and play at a constant basis? Obama has raised our level of awareness of the Blackberry addict, the new drug of the digital and mobile era where we are now victims of our own constant and often involuntary urges to immerse in online busyness. Productivity and labor has never become so obviously disassociated as in today’s Web 2.0 era where being engaged during “work” and “working” have become issues of serious concern to the private sector at large. It’s a double-edged sword really. Companies benefit from this compulsion as they can reach their employees, the junkies of new media, even during the sacrosanct weekend. On the other hand, leisure stealthily creeps in during the routines of work life, enveloping their worker bees with the trivia of social life through Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In fact, the spatial aspect of work, of being at the office to produce is also being challenged as technical mobility and the nature of work has undergone radical transformation one may argue. It may even seem that this laboring elite are their own worst enemies as they compulsively engage with work regardless of location and time.

Pushing this further, taking a digital absence is currently shrouded in controversy as expectations of instant gratification from customers as well as ones own Net addiction propels one to actively and with much effort, disengage from the cybersphere. There is no discreet way of excusing oneself from techno-laboring. It is yet to be seen how long absences from ones own blog or twitter is perceived and how that impacts ones legitimacy in the Web 2.0 world where ones absence is digitally clocked and paraded for one and all.