Connected Individuation

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Connected Individuation - Applin, S.A. and Fischer, M.D. (2011)

"Connected Individuation" in communities refers to behavior that connects a person socially while simultaneously isolating them from their local spatial community. We are not proposing a dualist model with increasingly divergent "realities." The connectivity could be with members of the local community who merely aren't immediately present. What we are trying to describe here is the phenomenon of people who are frequently and empirically connected to others...who just happen to not be in their immediate vicinity. This, together with assorted problems ranging from traffic and navigation on the streets and sidewalks, creates the individuation that is observed.

Rainie & Wellman [1] propose a "Networked Individualism" that arises from the introduction of networked social relations that weaken local social relations, while the individual has the opportunity to create alternative weak or strong social relationships online as they choose, and suggest that to a point, people will choose weaker relationships rather than stronger to gain more freedom. Our work suggests that Connected Individuation arises from weaker relationships, local or networked, that are a consequence of the formation through mobile networks of numerous, partially overlapping, social interactions, regardless of the individuals desires.