Computer-based social interaction
Many people began to use
computer-based methods as their primary means for social interaction, particularly from mobile devices.
Rather than logging in and out of
discrete sessions and hanging up afterwards, they maintained ongoing interactions
through social media and responded to incoming notifications as they arrived.
Blurring of personal vs. work boundaries
As individuals moved more of their identities
and activities online, and did more of their work outside offices or office hours,
boundaries between personal and work lives became less clear. Increasingly, personal and business
data coexisted on the same computers and devices, as users were unwilling to use and carry distinct
devices for different purposes.
Loss of IT control
Employees brought their own devices (a trend known by its acronym, BYOD)
and demanded to connect them to corporate networks rather than using systems provided and
controlled by IT departments. Corporate interest grew in technologies designed to separate different
types of data and applications within user-owned devices, but users were often reluctant to grant
employers control over them.
Smartphones and tablets
Powerful mobile computing devices provide more
processing power than the room-size machines of earlier eras were able to offer. They can store
large amounts of data, can access Internet-based resources, and can host local applications.
Affordable cellular networks
Cellular network data costs dropped substantially, making their use practical
for the general public. Cost-effective cellular networks enable "always-on" connectivity even when
outside WiFi hotspot range, and allow new types of location-based services.
Smartphones and tablets store data and run local apps, making it important
to consider them not only as means to access remote resources but also as computers in
Rather than just displaying content to visitors, or supporting particular interactions like ordering
a product, many newer websites provide platforms for their users to provide their own content and
interact with one another.