LOEWE-Forschungsschwerpunkt Social Link (Universität Kassel, TU Darmstadt)LOEWE Social Link (University of Kassel, TU Darmstadt)

"Always Online?" - A new communication paradigm for Information society (Social Link)

The high spreading as well as rapid innovations in modern information- and communication technology (ICT), especially in the Internet and mobile communication, strongly shape the modern Information Society. Nowadays, ICT facilitates availability regardless of location and time, thus allowing the individual to be "always online". Potentially, any information can be received anywhere and anytime. This leads to a manifold of changes in handling communication and information within society.

Conventional social rules of communication are no longer valid in the modern era of communication and information: the geographical and temporal separation of occupational and private live increasingly vanishes. This enables new chances but also risks – particularly the risk of the overextension of individuals.

Knowledge work in the past and nowadays

Private live and work were separated. Separation of work and private life is no longer guaranteed. Individuals can work anytime and almost anywhere.
Both geographical and temporal separation of work and private life existed. There is neither a geographical nor a temporal separation.
The lack of the Internet and mobile phones limited communication opportunities. Availability was assured only during the working time of individuals. The Internet and mobile phones enable almost limitless communication opportunities. Individuals are potentially available anytime and anywhere.

Project aims of Social Link

The main goal is the interdisciplinary investigation and design of a new social communication paradigm (Social Link) for ideally organized work of knowledge workers and assistance for their work-life balance.

To achieve this goal, a new communication paradigm is to be designed which reduces the required attention of information receivers significantly. Receivers are unburdened through selective information supply, where selection bases e.g. on their current context. In the long term, the communication paradigm is to be extended for further target groups and new technical trends. For this purpose, methods of interdisciplinary technology design are enhanced. From the beginning on, the involved disciplines work together in four work fields to compile fundamentals, define requirements and technical demonstrators, and to design and evaluate social solutions.

The long term stabilization of the involved project partners, i.e. the professorships Dr.-Ing. Klaus David, Dr. jur. Alexander Roßnagel, Dr. rer. nat. Sandra Ohly, Dr. rer. nat. Arno Wacker from Kassel University and the professorships Dr. rer. pol. Ruth Stock-Homburg and Dr.-Ing. Ralf Steinmetz from Darmstadt Technical University, takes place in the House of IT. This supports a university overlapping stabilization.

The project partners of Kassel University are members of the ITeG.


The project “Social Link” is sponsored by the 6th sponsorship edition of the “Hessiche Landesoffensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz (LOEWE)”

Period of sponsorship: 2014 - 2016