Should We Quit Social Media?

Location
Central Library
251 Dundas St

Date/Time
Monday, October 16, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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When we weigh all the pros and cons, does social media come out as a net good or as a liability for society?

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What do you think about social media?

…does it bring people together to mobilize for their rights? Or just give corporations and governments the ability to track our every move?

…does it introduce us to new ideas and different perspectives? Or does it surround us in “echo chambers” of our own voices and beliefs?

…does it spawn innovation, creativity, and collaboration? Or is it a psychological liability that leaves us addicted to our newsfeeds and notifications?

Some local community thinkers gather to discuss questions like, “Has social media been good for civilization?” and “Should I quit Facebook?”

Read Ahead

The following resources help to set the stage for the conversation:

You Are Being Tracked, Evaluated and Sold: an analysis of digital inequalities by Bev Skeggs

Trust Issues: how we do and don’t hold tech giants accountable by On the Media

Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It. by Cal Newport

Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible? by James Matthews

Why Can’t We Stop Looking at our Phones? by The Inquiry (BBC)

Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S. by Brian A. Primack, et al

The Panel

Tim Blackmore is a Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University. He has researched and written at length about war, war technology, propaganda and popular culture. His book, War X, focuses on the way humans understand the world of industrial warfare. Tim is especially interested in understanding how we use images and media to make war look attractive to ourselves as societies. (Listen to Tim’s last visit, wherein he takes on the issue of fake news.)

Emma Blue (@EmmaJaeBlue) is the Director of Advocacy at the London Youth Advisory Council and a Media Theory and Production student at Western University. Her main aspiration in life is to create processes that ensure marginalized communities have decision-making power over the institutions and services that shape their lives.

Carmi Levy (@carmilevy) is an independent technology analyst and journalist based in London, Ontario. As an IT practitioner, he managed technology help desks and software development projects for some of Canada’s largest financial service companies. He also writes extensively for Canadian and American tech media, focusing on the impact of technology on business and social contexts.

Rowa Mohamed (@RowaMohamed) recently graduated with a degree in health sciences from Western University. She is highly invested in many social justice activities and anti-racism efforts in the city — a community provocateur with a passion for equality. (Listen to Rowa’s previous visit on the podcast, wherein she unpacks the concept of intersectionality.)

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