Category: radio

Perspective | My daughter asked me to stop writing about motherhood. Here’s why I can’t do that.:

Writer and Lawyer Christie Tate suffered the wrath of the social media mob when her article was originally published. Sadly, most of the angry people missed the point behind the provocative headline – that in telling stories that include other people, you have to make and respect one another’s boundaries.

…my plan is to chart a middle course, where together we negotiate the boundaries of the stories I write and the images I include. This will entail hard conversations and compromises. But I prefer the hard work of charting the middle course to giving up altogether — an impulse that comes, in part, from the cultural pressure for mothers to be endlessly self-sacrificing on behalf of their children. As a mother, I’m not supposed to do anything that upsets my children or that makes them uncomfortable, certainly not for something as culturally devalued as my own creative labor.

Writer Christine Organ has described how “we seem to be creating this unrealistic image of the mother as all-giving, all-knowing, selfless, superhuman who will gladly give up the last piece of apple pie to please her lip-smacking, big-eyed child.” Surely, there’s a way to cut the pie so that I can write about motherhood in a way that takes into account my daughter’s feelings and respects her boundaries. But if I simply cordoned off motherhood as a forbidden subject for my writing, we would never know.

My daughter didn’t ask to have a writer for a mother, but that’s who I am. Amputating parts of my experience feels as abusive to our relationship as writing about her without any consideration for her feelings and privacy.

For now, we have agreed that I will not submit a picture for a publication without her permission and that she has absolute veto rights on any image of herself. As for content, I have agreed to describe to her what I’m writing about, in advance of publication, and to keep the facts that involve her to a minimum. I have not yet promised that she can edit my work, but we acknowledged that is a future possibility. She also requested that instead of using her name, I call her by her self-selected pseudonym, Roshelle…

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

Sharenting: parent blogging and the boundaries of the digital self – LSE Research Online:

We had Professor Sonia Livingstone on this weeks episode talking about where the right to tell your own story ends, and the privacy rights of others begin. But you should check out her article on Sharenting in full, it’s a fascinating read 🙂

This article asks whether “sharenting” (sharing representations of one’s parenting or
children online) is a form of digital self-representation. Drawing on interviews with 17
parent bloggers, we explore how parents define the borders of their digital selves and
justify what is their “story to tell.” We find that bloggers grapple with profound ethical
dilemmas, as representing their identities as parents inevitably makes public aspects of
their children’s lives, introducing risks that they are, paradoxically, responsible for
safeguarding against. Parents thus evaluate what to share by juggling multiple obligations
– to themselves, their children in the present and imagined into the future, and to their
physical and virtual communities. The digital practices of representing the relational self
are impeded more than eased by the individualistic notion of identity instantiated by
digital platforms, thereby intensifying the ambivalence of both parents and the wider
society in judging emerging genres of blogging the self.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

Social networking sites as virtual ‘showcases’:

A survey of Italian mothers who engage in ‘sharenting’ suggests they are motivated by both a desire for external validation, as well as more communitarian goals such as sharing moments with distant relatives and seeking support. But while many mothers see it as their right to engage in sharenting, what implications does this have for children’s rights and privacy? 

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

BBC Radio 4 – Four Thought, Other People’s Stories:

Lunchtime listen for you guys, Dr Anna Derrig was on our show this week, but she goes in depth into the ethics of life writing in this episode of Four Thought. Well worth a listen if you’re going to write your life story.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

Does anyone want to hear a story???:

What is truth is an oft asked question, especially online. This is a cool article digging into the plethora of made up stuff on Twitter, you should check it out 🙂

In his 1999 statement of principles known as the “Minnesota Declaration,” Werner Herzog gave an explanation of his theory of “ecstatic truth”. Cinema Verité, Herzog tells us, deals only with “superficial truth, the truth of accountants.” “One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publicly that truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to be honest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court who resents the amount of written law and legal procedures. ‘For me,’ he says, ‘there should be only one single law: the bad guys should go to jail.’”

In this, Herzog says, such realism “confounds facts and truth”: “Facts create norms, and truth illumination.” But luckily, against the realists, “There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.” In his work (most notably, his documentaries), Herzog seeks this “ecstatic truth”: to reflect reality not how it is on the surface, but how it is on a deep level, beyond the façade of what we merely perceive.

Of course this is difficult, and can go wrong — it can stray into a sort of dishonesty that it is impossible to even contest by means of verification. But when it works, it can tell us something we are unable to reach by means of engagement with surface reality alone — the essential truth, for instance, of engaging with British politics being like a posh teenager disinterestedly daring you to drink a big bucket of vomit and piss.

“Life in the oceans must be sheer hell,” Herzog concludes. “A vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger. So much of a hell that during evolution some species — including man — crawled, fled onto some small continents of solid land, where the Lessons of Darkness continue.”

This what bothers me about those fake viral Twitter stories. They lack anything like ecstatic truth; they don’t reflect or reveal any reality deeper than what they describe. In this, they have only facts — and of course, as it turns out, they don’t even have that. If the stories had never posed as true, they would not have gone viral in the slightest. Like A Million Little Pieces or the hoax misery memoirs of JT Leroy, these stories need — regardless of any other formal accomplishments — to pose as true in order to make an impact on their audience. (Once you realize it’s not true, the Morris thread is literally just a guy saying: “Oh, and then this happened! And then hero (who I’ve made up) outwitted the drug dealers — wow! And he got away with it! Juh? How cool!”). Likewise, the Didn’t Happen lads seem determined to reduce all truth to mere facts, completely blind to the possibility that there could be more to the world than that — they don’t care about ecstatic truth at all.

The internet is causing more and more fake things to leak into our consciousness every day. But this is only really a problem if the fakes don’t contribute anything to our understanding of the world. We need to stop asking: is this true? We must instead ask: supposing this is true… what is its truth worth?

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

A cautionary tale about social media privacy:

A woman secretly photographed on a flight to Dallas has released a statement about how she has been shamed and harassed since a fictional romance about her went viral on social media.

Parts of a conversation she had with a fellow passenger on 3 July was overheard by actress and comedian Rosey Blair and her boyfriend, who documented their interpretation of it as an unfolding romance which became known online as #PlaneBae.

But the woman says she has been hounded and doxxed – internet terminology for revealing someone’s personal information without their consent.

“I did not ask for and do not seek attention. #PlaneBae is not a romance – it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent,” she said in a statement given to Business Insider by her lawyer.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

The Digital Human – Series 17 – Science Fiction Jammie Bums – BBC Sounds:

Digihuman back again on Monday guys, and we’ve got a little clip to wet your appetite. I’m just happy the phrase ‘science fiction jammie bums’ is on the radio 🙂

Listen to the full show HERE on Monday

Parasocial Relationships: The Psychology of One-Sided Intimacy With Celebrities:


In their 1956 article, “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a distance,” Horton and Wohl described both parasocial relationships and parasocial interaction for the first time. They used the terms somewhat interchangeably, but mostly focused their exploration on the illusion of conversational give-and-take a media consumer experiences with a media figure while watching a TV show or listening to a radio program.

This led to some conceptual confusion. Although a great deal of research has been done on parasocial phenomena, especially since the 1970s and 1980s, the most widely utilized scale in that research, the Parasocial Interaction Scale, combines questions about parasocial interactions and parasocial relationships. However, today, scholars generally agree the two concepts are related but different.

When a media consumer feels like they are interacting with a media figure—a celebrity, fictional character, radio host, or even a puppet—during a discrete viewing or listening scenario, they are experiencing a parasocial interaction. For example, if a viewer feels like they are hanging out at the Dunder-Mifflin office while watching the TV comedy The Office, they are engaging in a parasocial interaction.

On the other hand, if the media user imagines a long-term bond with a media figure that extends outside the viewing or listening situation, it is considered a parasocial relationship. The bond can be either positive or negative. For instance, if an individual adores the host of their local morning program and often thinks about and discusses the host as if he is one of their friends, that individual has a parasocial relationship with the host.

Scholars have observed that parasocial interactions can lead to parasocial relationships, and parasocial relationships can strengthen parasocial interactions. This process resembles the way that spending time with a person in real-life can result in a friendship that then gets deeper and more committed when the individuals spend additional time together.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession

Love, sex & Google: living with OCD in the digital age:

I would spend most of my day looking for articles on relationship issues, taking online quizzes, and ruminating on what I read online,” says Victoria, 23, from Spain. “It was a very tiring process. The relief would only last for a short while – and then the doubts would creep back in.”

Victoria has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When she was younger, this meant that she was plagued with religious obsessions, and felt compelled to beg for forgiveness a specific number of times every time she did something ‘wrong.’ But over the years, her fixations have shifted toward love and sexual attraction.

Now, Victoria constantly questions whether she is in the right relationship, and regularly doubts her sexual orientation. She spends hours online looking for information to determine whether she is heterosexual and if she really loves her boyfriend. “Google is the worst enemy for people with OCD,” she says, with exasperation. “It’s the perfect vessel for reassurance-seeking compulsions. Googling allowed me to endlessly feed my obsession without anyone telling me to ‘shut up about it already’.”

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession 

The Line Between Heartbreak and Obsessive Love Is a Fuzzy One:

After a breakup there’s the expectation that you’ll eventually move on. But what if you can’t? What if the impulse to think about an ex became all-consuming — months, even years later? What if it never goes away?

You’ll find a few sufferers of this particular hardship on the “Limerence” subreddit, a message board where the brokenhearted and obsessed bare their souls. Some simply can’t stop thinking about their unrequited crushes: “I probably think about her a hundred times a day,” one user wrote, “right before going to sleep and right after waking up.”

Others remain haunted: “It’s been 14 years [that I’ve been obsessing over her].”

And for a few, the anguish takes a darker turn: “What’s the point of living if 1) I can never have him and 2) I can never get over him?”

Psychologist Albert Wakin, a professor at Sacred Heart University, has spent a chunk of his career studying this type of lovelorn suffering. He thinks the problem is common enough that it’s time for the psychology field to officially recognize that love can veer out of control and enter the realm of pathology. He hopes that obsessive love, or “limerence,” will be included in a future edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), though he doubts he’ll live to see the day: Psychology and neuroscience research has only just begun to understand why romance has such a potent grip — and why, for all the people who can eventually get over a breakup, there are some who can’t.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession