Been thinking a bit about different concepts of time/space arising out of the technological affordances of mobile/synchronous/nearly synchronous technologies (like mobile phones, IM, etc) and the ways in which those affordances are taken up by college students (constant contact, being always connected). In the past, the space of the classroom wasn’t necessarily available to students to conduct social interaction with friends outside of the classroom. But it’s no longer clear, when you’re texting while the professor is lecturing, whether you’re doing class, or doing social interaction, or both… or maybe the idea of doing class has now changed to include social interaction with friends outside of the class. Does that mean that the person on the other end of the text is now part of the class? It does need to be said that the boundaries between in and out of class have never been clear, as illustrated by Jan Nespor and others – but I think there’s something different about this type of visceral connection as opposed to less tangible flows of ideas.
When doing my masters degree, I had a flirtation with Lefebvre’s third space theory, but I don’t think that’s a totally appropriate lens here. Much closer is the idea of new "technosocial spaces" (Ito & Okabe), and I’m also intrigued by the notion of "nested spaces" which I came across this morning on Guy’s blog. If anyone’s been thinking about this for a while, would love to hear your top-three readings/resources!