Internet and Social Media

The relationship between technology and its users must be conceived ‘as inextricably cultural and instrumental’ (Beckmann, 2001). In this regard, we agree with the idea that technology ‘always speaks to a range of function-expressions’ (Michael, 2000). The most classic example of this is the car, which does not just perform the practical function of moving from A to B but also, through the localized exercise of power, offers opportunities for the development and expression of users’ self-identities.

In an era of accelerating technological change, one could argue there is no certainty that faster and more profound change in the future may be accompanied by equally profound social and cultural change. However, it is clear that the diffusion of information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) has transformed the mobility of passengers and freight and resulted in several economic and social impacts. A new range of ICT composed of computers, satellite communication, mobile phones, and finally, the internet emerged in the 1980s and contributed to the integration of telecommunication and transportation. With the emergence of an information society, the transactional structures of the economy have changed drastically towards networked organizational forms of individuals, institutions, organizations, and corporations with more intensive interactions, many of which are associated with new forms of mobility (Rodrigue, 2020). ICT enables individuals to interact through additional mediums (e.g. email, texting, video conferencing), which may lead to more interactions, but also to changes over how these interactions are conducted. The diffusion of mobile personal computing devices, mainly smartphones, has also enabled individuals to enrich their mobility by enabling them to perform various tasks while in transit or outside a conventional work environment setting.

Thanks to the digital era and the wide diffusion of social media, the figure of the green influencer has become very popular. Green influencers are people engaged in promoting sustainable ways of life and raising awareness towards environmental issues, through their digital profiles in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or personal blogs (Figure below). They are seen as role models by their followers who tend to replicate their behaviours and

The power of the digital world offers the possibility to reach bigger audiences with lower resources and better results compared to the classical advertisement campaigns. New trends in sustainable mobility include e-vehicles, transport sharing and multi-modal mobility.

Greta Thunberg holding a banner with her famous slogan “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School strike for the climate). 2018