The CaSMa team -in collaboration with Making Waves and Social Futures at the Institute of Mental Health– organised a series of events for public engagement and debate at Nottingham Contemporary called Voices from the Crowd.
Unlike traditional seminars, Voices from the Crowd does not bring experts or keynote speakers under the assumption that we -the audience- are all experts on social media. As internet users we all have something valuable to say about how technology is affecting and influencing our everyday lives and ways we interact with others. Voices from the Crowd promotes a more democratic and horizontal structure for participation by encouraging attendees to engage in discussions and learning conversations about many different aspects of social media.
During the previous two events, attendees were invited to look at graphic material -controversial at times- to trigger ideas, stimulate debate, and generate thoughts. We all sat in a circle and discuss ideas about in relations to mental health and social media and data privacy.
Free samosas, video clips and a slide show were the final ingredients for a very enjoyable and inspiring evening.
After the initial success of ‘Media Gone Mental’, we are delighted to announce the next event on February the 2nd at the Space, Nottingham Contemporary from 6 till 8pm. This event will focus on identity, the concept of the self, and how this is influenced by emerging technologies. Discussions, comments and narratives will probably emerge from topics including online vs, offline identity, false identities, alter identities, internet persona and possible identities. Our online identity may even be determined by our relationship to a certain social group and be shaped in unimaginable ways. We can even create an avatar to visually represent our identity online and consequently interact with other avatars and build virtual relationships.
How do we construct an image of ourselves online? What personally identifiable information do we choose to reveal? Is our online identity a true representation of ourselves or an idealistic one? The online disinhibition effect shows that anonymity and audience gratification can promote unwise and uninhibited behaviour. Can this be therapeutic and beneficial for the general population? What about those with physical and sensory complexities? Virtual communities that are both non-threatening and non-judgmental offer a decentralised opportunity for people to present themselves without fear of persecution, whether it is personality traits, sexual behaviours that they are curious about or the announcement of a real world reality. However, the predatory nature of some individuals (e.g., paedophiles) also brings serious concerns and real threats.
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