Based on the author’s 3-year Australian-based post doc research.

“This book shows the extent to which new media technology encourages and exacerbates a much olde tendency among salaried professionals to put work at the heart of daily concerns, often at the expense of all other sources of intimacy and fulfillment.” p.xi.

Set in the context of Australia going through the global economic crisis, 2007 – 2009.

Research was based on interviews with 26 people from 4 organizations.

It can be read as a prelude for us to think about how work and life-outside-work has changed, and what employees and employers should be conscious of.

One takeaway was that new media technology does not necessarily reduce the amount of work, if work processes fundamentally do not change.

That one reason for social Media’s attractiveness is that they are viable distractions from the mundane of work.

There is a recurring theme of the interviewees accepting that work crept into their off-work lives, some acknowledging that they border on being obsessed about keeping in touch with work and wanting to be on top of things (in control).

One “mobile worker” recounted how if she was in the office, no one expected her to be constantly checking her email or at her desk. Yet in a home office setting, she was expected to be constantly and instantly contactable.

About contract careers: how the employee on contract essentially gave in more hours than what was contracted, yet without the benefits given to full time employers. Yet this was not a sinister hidden policy by the organization, but something that arose as a choice made by the employee being interviewed. (there is also the implied scarcity of work)

Part II, on “online culture and the rise of social networking”.

A chapter on differing understanding of the function and meaning of CC in emails. One interviewee recounted an informal email guideline on use of CC, I.e. cc means kept in the loop but action not required. If people need to know and need to take action, include in the To field. P79

P85 social bonds at work contributes to making overtime work seem courteous and common sense (or it would be rude to ignore).

Chpt 5 on Facebook Friends. P 87
Likens Facebook to a security blanket for “workers conscious of the need to remain flexible, available, and likable in a dynamic employment market”. I.e. both socialization and self-marketing/ increasing personal employability.

Suggests Facebook friends provided a sense of continuity, in a fast paced higher staff turnover work environment. It helps mobile workers cushion the impact of unfamiliar surroundings. It appeals highest to the “knowledge class”.

P. 89 “Facebook offers a reliable locus for affection for the growing number of workers for whom traditional forms of community seem lacking.”

P91. The nature and structure of the profile page shows social networking sites’s roles as “markers of class position”. Communicating that users belong to a particular group. Entering tastes, likes, affiliations readily provides a repository available for others to appreciate the user.

One interviewee (academic) remarked that with his global connections, he found Facebook more and more significant as a way to influence others. Slanted towards announcing his serious research on Facebook than publishing it in a journal.

P99. “in the context of office cultures that require conviviality and teamwork in all online dealings, Facebook acts as the necessary safety valve for workers needing a place to vent the many negative affects accompanying office life.