Distortion Social

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Distortion Social
Social Distortion
What do we do with
the artifacts of
digital living?
Meghan Dougherty, PhD
Loyola University, Chicago
Annette Markham, PhD
Aarhus University, Denmark
IIPC, April 27, 2015
We move around online
We leave digital traces
We follow certain paths, ignore others
We create new paths (everyone else does, too)
We make sense of things through these paths
We tend to think that this sense we make is reality.
But there’s a lot we don’t see.
Reality is far more complicated.
“Gee, you sure do want people to know what
music you like! My News Feed is filled with
posts like, “Sue’s listening to Bruce
Springsteen on Spotify!” or “Sue’s listening to
Some Playlist on Spotify!” Why do you do
that?”
Sue was confused. Her friend seemed to
think Sue was a prolific Facebook user when
Sue hadn’t logged in or posted an update for
several months…..” (Participant 365, 2013)
Nothing I did in the entire hour I recorded
myself was actually…accomplished anything.
AT ALL. Seriously!? To think—I do this for
hours a day.
…It is just a bit…sad how glued I am to the
computer.
I set my nerves aside and decidedly tap
him firmly on his chest. Now I can
see him more closely: his eyes—still dark,
still meeting my gaze—are a deep brown
and half shaded by intensely long lashes.
He is so cute. Before I touch him again, I
decide that I definitely need to have
something to talk about—that is, I can
only stare at him for so long before I
should probably say something. But
what?
Does it even matter what I say?
After what feels like an eternity, my
indecision gets the best of me. I chicken
out. Instead of initiating an interaction, I
shut down the screen and slip my iPhone
into the pocket of my jeans.
"The tyranny of the quantifiable is partly the
failure of language and discourse to describe
more complex subtle, and fluid phenomena, as
well as the failure of those who shape opinions
and make decisions to understand and value
these slipperier things.”
Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me, 2014 (pg. 59)
“The web is the most successful information
architecture…it’s all about linking content.”
“We need to understand the web. The people are central,
and if we didn’t fill it with content, it’d die. The
technology doesn’t shape it, we do by using it.”
“Web pages are made for humans to communicate with
humans rendered through a computer. The code has no
meaning.”
The Onion, “Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins of ‘Friendster’ Civilization”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mFJdOsjJ0k&feature=kp
Social Distortion
What do we do with
the artifacts of
digital living?
Meghan Dougherty, PhD
Loyola University, Chicago
Annette Markham, PhD
Aarhus University, Denmark
IIPC, April 27, 2015

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