Digital Era Redefining Etiquette

Nick Bilton, in the NY Times: "The anthropologist Margaret Mead once said that in traditional societies, the young learn from the old. But in modern societies, the old can also learn from the young. Here’s hoping that politeness never goes out of fashion, but that time-wasting forms of communication do."

The Touch-Screen Generation

Hanna Rosin, writing in the Atlantic: "[A]s technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what it might be doing to their children. Technological competence and sophistication have not, for parents, translated into comfort and ease. They have merely created yet another sphere that parents feel they have to navigate in exactly the right way."

Study: ‘Likes’ Likely to Expose You

The AP reports on a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "Facebook said last year that roughly 2.7 billion new likes pour out onto the Internet every day — endorsing everything from pop stars to soda pop. That means an ever-expanding pool of data available to marketers, managers and just about anyone else interested in users' inner lives, especially those who aren't careful about their privacy settings."

The IRL Fetish

Nathan Jurgenson: "Nothing has contributed more to our collective appreciation for being logged off and technologically disconnected than the very technologies of connection. The ease of digital distraction has made us appreciate solitude with a new intensity. We savor being face-to-face with a small group of friends or family in one place and one time far more thanks to the digital sociality that so fluidly rearranges the rules of time and space. In short, we’ve never cherished being alone, valued introspection, and treasured information disconnection more than we do now."

Don’t hide your online self when applying for college or career

Lisa Nielsen: "[I]t is common to hear students applying for college or a job say before doing so, they plan to take down their online profiles or change their name to something unidentifiable. Innovative educators know this is not the best strategy. Instead our job is to support young people in creating a responsible digital footprint that, rather than hinder, would attract colleges and employers."

On Facebook, Sharing Can Come at a Cost

Nick Bilton paid Facebook $7 to promote his column: "To my surprise, I saw a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a link I posted, which had 130 likes and 30 reshares in just a few hours. It seems as if Facebook is not only promoting my links on news feeds when I pay for them, but also possibly suppressing the ones I do not pay for."

This Story Stinks

Two researchers at the University of Wisconsin share the findings of their recent study on "nasty" comments: "The Web, it should be said, is still a marvelous place for public debate. But when it comes to reading and understanding news stories online ... the medium can have a surprisingly potent effect on the message. Comments from some readers, our research shows, can significantly distort what other readers think was reported in the first place."

Online/Offline/No Line

Michael Sacasas covers the digital dualism debate between Nathan Jurdenson and Nicholas Carr, pointing to Tyler Bickford's take on the exchange. I think this aside is important: "Let me pause at this point to say that it is not clear that all the parties in this conversation, myself included, have reached what the rhetoricians call stasis — that is, it’s not evident that those involved in the debate know what exactly the debate is about."

Why Facebook Makes You Feel Miserable

Time Magazine: "Facebook is supposed to envelope us in the warm embrace of our social network, and scanning friends’ pages is supposed to make us feel loved, supported and important (at least in the lives of those we like). But skimming through photos of friends’ life successes can trigger feelings of envy, misery and loneliness as well, according to researchers from two German universities. The scientists studied 600 people who logged time on the social network and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos."

Privacy and Twitter lists

Terri Oda reminds us that public Twitter lists can reveal our locations, our professions, and more. "So what are your options if you want to hide this information? Well, if I don't like the lists I'm on, I can... uh... There's no apparent way to leave a twitter list. I suspect one could block the list curator, but the people revealing your location are most likely to be actual real life friends: people you wouldn't want to block. So you'd have to resort to asking nicely, but that's assuming you even notice: while you can get notifications of new followers, you do not get notified when you're added to a list."


A fascinating web app by Aaron Zinman at MIT that "uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you."

Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality

Nathan Jurgenson pushes back against the dualistic idea that we have a "real" self and a "virtual" self: "I am proposing an alternative view that states that our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once. We are not crossing in and out of separate digital and physical realities, ala The Matrix, but instead live in one reality, one that is augmented by atoms and bits."

How to Stop the Bullies

Emily Bazelon, in the Atlantic: "In the early days of the Internet, the primary danger to kids seemed to be from predatory adults. But it turns out that the perils adults pose, although they can be devastating, are rare. The far more common problem kids face when they go online comes from other kids: the hum of low-grade hostility, punctuated by truly damaging explosions, that is called cyberbullying."

Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Douglas Rushkoff: "Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does. Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences, and activities over time — our 'social graphs' — into a commodity for others to exploit."

Is Smart Making Us Dumb?

Evgeny Morozov, in the Wall Street Journal: "As smart technologies become more intrusive, they risk undermining our autonomy by suppressing behaviors that someone somewhere has deemed undesirable. Smart forks inform us that we are eating too fast. Smart toothbrushes urge us to spend more time brushing our teeth. Smart sensors in our cars can tell if we drive too fast or brake too suddenly."

Negotiating multiple identities on the social web: Goffman, fragmentation and the multiverse

Transcript of Corinne Weisgerber's fascinating webCom keynote: "If our identities are socially constructed through our stage performances, it matters whether they are viewed through the lense of a human being or an algorithm. It matters because humans and search engines don’t see the same thing when they bump into you online."