I recently had the honour to do a TEDx talk as part of the London Central School of Speech and Drama TEDx event with the theme The Next Stage. In my talk I presented some of the things I've been thinking about working on my project. There were mainly three things I tried to convey in my talk:
1. The ways in which these exciting and innovative technologies and affordances are actually closely linked to much earlier communication technologies and social practices.
2. Why for so many of us, the first reaction to these possibilities is "that's so creepy!" and how not-creepy-at-all it is when you think a bit longer about what it could feel like to be using some of these platforms.
3. In one way or another, we're already creating our digital legacies and online afterlives and if that is the case, perhaps we should at least give some thought to how we want to manage it - even if we prefer to manage it by completely erasing any aspect of our digital footprint.
So what would you choose?
Here's the video of my talk, let me know your thoughts!
For centuries the relationship between communication technologies and death has inspired all kinds of creative work: technological development, popular fantasies, popular cultural artefacts, death-related practices and academic research.
Contemporary communication technologies and newly emerging practices of use of digital media are no exception.
We've seen recently many popular texts expressing some of these fantasies about digital media and death (think about television series Black Mirror, the movie Transcendence, or the book Kiss Me First - to give a few examples).
At the same time, in recent years there is a growth in the scope and variety of death-related practices online, most seem and are experienced very differently comparing to how they are configured in the popular imagination.
Are digital media changing the way we die? Are they changing the way we mourn and remember? These are some of the questions addressed by scholars studying this newly emerging and fascinating field of death-related digital practices.
What do you think?