Travel in the Network: Redirected Gazes, Ubiquitous Connections and New Frontiers
Technologies not only enable travel but also fundamentally structure the experiences travel brings about. Travel involves movement through geographic space and time, and technology transforms the relationship between the traveler and the traveled space as well as the experience of time. For instance, Schivelbusch (1986) describes how the railroad turned travelers into projectiles being shot through the landscape, leading to a loss of sensory immersion and a particular perception of landscapes as distant, evanescent panoramic views. Nowadays, emerging information and communication technologies add to the mediation and mediatization of tourism experiences. Jansson (2006, p.1) stresses that "mediatization alters perceptions, of place, distance, sociality, authenticity, and other pre-understandings that frame tourism." Much has been written about time-space compression in the post-modern society (Harvey, 1989). In the network society, these effects are amplified by network technologies to the extent that individuals experience time as timeless and space as placeless (Castells, 1996). This of course has fundamental implications for an activity like travel that is very much determined by these two dimensions.