I am not convinced

I am not convinced that ‘online communities’ will be defined as ‘communities’ indefinitely: it is quite possible some future generation might rebel against pixel-based approximations of human interaction as the sham of their parent’s age.

Echo chambers

Echo chambers are like showers: singing in them makes you sound better than singing anywhere else.

I wonder

I wonder how many net hours of productivity are lost every time the whole world has to stop and wrap its head around another presidential tweet?

Social media paves the way for a dark, myopic dystopia

Social media paves the way for a dark, myopic dystopia, where we all become attention-obsessed hominid protocol droids, addicted to digital tokens of sentience, obediently ranking one another on behalf of the pet algorithms of our sleazy overlords.

In what ways do online spaces co-opt personal expression?

In a sense, digital social platforms homogenize personal individuality as much as they amplify and incentivize it. One of the most interesting contradictions of the ‘digital revolution’ is how big tech endlessly promise better tools to express our creativity, individuality, and unique voice in the world… …as we are happily baited into using platforms and …

Is “following” and “liking” fundamentally different than “reading”?

Remember blogrolls? These were lists of links to other blogs that a blogger would often post on their site. In the days before we surrendered everything to corporately sponsored algorithms, online writers and readers built networks by recommending fellow authors to one another. I’m curious: who do you read today? Who are the writers producing …

Internet Trolling: A People’s Philosophy

Who gets to define and label ‘trolls’? Will there be redemption for the comment section? Once touted as a hopeful platform for generative, democratic participation, many people now see online discussion as a cesspool of hatred and toxicity. Just how angry is the Internet? Yimin Chen (@Shinypants0) is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of …

Tyranny of the Network Effect

Do you ever feel that digital media platforms like Facebook wield a tyrannical power over our lives? There is an explanation. The network effect refers to the positive feedback loop created by the mass adoption of a service or platform. For example, let’s say your friends are on Facebook, inviting each other to parties and …

Rehumanizing Twitter?

I tried an experiment on Twitter last week: Set @tweetbot filter to remove links, media, retweets, quotes, and auto-posting clients [i.e. IFTTT, Buffer, Hootsuite] from timeline. Feels like old @Twitter — human again. By ‘human’ I mean: all that remains is conversation; people talking to each other…not so much selling, promoting, positioning stuff. Zapping the …