Category: series 17

The Digital Human – Series 17 – Science Fictio…

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

After My Ex Stalked Me Online, I Saw the Dark …

After My Ex Stalked Me Online, I Saw the Dark Side of Romantic Obsession:

I grew up on (500) Days of Summer, Love Actually, and all those romantic comedies that beat us over the head with the “love is persistent” trope. Usually it’s a guy who decides he’s going to go all out to win the girl of his dreams, even if she doesn’t seem at all interested or is already in a relationship. The main thing is that he never gives up.

I loved these movies and their handwritten letters, expensive chocolates, and gifts—a romcom hero could have called anything a grand gesture and I would have lapped it up. My hopelessly romantic adolescent brain thought that I would find The One when they dedicated their life to getting me like Noah in The Notebook and the 365 letters he sent his ex.

So that’s what I ended up with—and it’s exactly what I didn’t want. 

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession

Parasocial Relationships: The Psychology of On…

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 dig…

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 



At its worst, obsession is an iron mask that permits us to gaze in only one direction at one thing—or, to use another metaphor, a giant tidal wave that crashes through our minds and washes away all other concerns. We may become obsessed with a person, a place, a goal, a subject—but obsession amounts to the same thing in all cases:addiction.

At first, like all addictions, obsession is intoxicating. It fills us up, and what a relief that feeling is (especially if we felt empty before). But even if we didn’t feel empty, obsession makes us feel potent, capable, and purposeful.

But also like all addictions, with time obsession unbalances us. We often begin to neglect parts of our lives we shouldn’t. If allowed to become too consuming, obsession causes us to devalue important dimensions of our lives and tolerate their atrophy and even their collapse. But even if our lives remain in balance, if the object of our obsession is taken from us, as my patient’s was from her, we find ourselves devastated, often convinced we’ve lost our last chance at happiness.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession

‘I’m Really Good At Internet Stalking…’

‘I’m Really Good At Internet Stalking…’:

Nosing in on what people are up to isn’t new. The only thing that has changed is that our subjects used to be acquaintances from school, clubs, and down the road. Then, face-to-face conversation was within the realm of possibility even if fear got in the way. But keeping up-to-date with people you’ve never met from continents you’ve never visited isn’t weird to us. I’ve repeatedly found myself so entwined in the lives of unremarkable strangers that I feel the need to see how they’re doing (because actually following their account would be going ‘too far’).

Weird? Maybe a little, but the old saying that it’s not what you know but whom you know has taken on new meaning. Because lurking has become a part of our daily life, it’s not unacceptable to use it to benefit you. Creeping is currency.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession

How Social Media Feeds Mimic OCD’s Intrusive T…

How Social Media Feeds Mimic OCD’s Intrusive Thoughts:

As a child of the digital age and a person with pure obsessional obsessive-compulsive disorder (“Pure O” OCD), I have observed abundant overlap between these two identities. Social media feeds are dictated by algorithms. Take Instagram, for example: a search tab so generously populates your feed with images and videos that might be of interest to you based on your behavior online. This is exactly how intrusive thoughts work. I have a thought that is ego dystonic, scares me and sets me off down the rabbit hole of mental compulsions in a futile attempt to disprove that thought. By seeking to avoid said intrusive thoughts, you guessed it, we affirm them. “What we resist, persists,” a counselor once told me. And what would have been diluted by simple acceptance is amplified by the friction our brains set into motion.

The same thing happens on Facebook and Instagram. I compare my relationship to the ever-repetitive rhetoric of #CoupleGoals, tapping and reading, tapping and linking to yet another related piece of content. My Search tab is then inundated with images of perfectly tanned, toned couples. The same goes for body image, professional success, activism, pie making abilities — you name it. Their (insert insecurity) must be more valid than mine, as they receive more engagement. It seems as if they are more worthy. I too portray aspirational parts of my life and work, but I am troubled by the unrealistic expectation perpetuated.  When I fixate on perfection, then my need for it continues. The sense of urgency remains because I keep sounding the alarm and affirming that it is important. Conundrums scream, “pay attention to me,” and although it negatively impacts my life, I pay attention.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 3 – Obsession

BBC Radio 4 – Seriously…, Seriously… – Piers…

BBC Radio 4 – Seriously…, Seriously… – Piers Plowright introduces a collection of his favourite documentaries for Seriously…:

Not so much a lunchtime lecture as a link to a full on audio binge.

Piers Plowright is a radio legend. During his time as a BBC radio drama and feature maker from 1968 to 1997 he won the Prix Italia for radio documentaries three times as well as three Gold and two Silver Sony Awards and a Sony Special Award for Continual Dedication and Commitment to the Radio Industry. Since then he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an honourary doctor at Bournemouth University and a ‘Radio Luminary’ at the prestigious Chicago Third Coast Radio Festival.

If anybody knows about great radio, Piers does. We are honoured and delighted to present his personal picks from the Radio 4 archive, all of which are available for you to listen to right now…

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog …

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog vs. digital:

Bring back the noise.

Such was the prescription from indie musicians Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski ’85 during an animated discussion about digital creativity Tuesday night at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Krukowski, who came to the Consumer Research Center/store to kick off the tour for his new book, “The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World,” used “noise” to describe the ambient sounds such as air conditioning or breathing that found their way onto analog audio recordings, but he was also speaking of life in the pre-digital world before social media giants’ content streams.

Krukowski, who was the founder and drummer for Galaxie 500 in the late ’80s, worked on the idea of analog versus digital as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society in 2015-16. By eliminating noise, he argued, digital technology has isolated authentic sound, though he hoped the debate would not be seen as old versus new, or good versus bad.

But Palmer, a rock ’n’ roll performer who has cultivated an intimate relationship with fans on and off social media, wasted no time lamenting the loss. Instead, she commiserated with Krukowski over a shared displeasure with Facebook. She quoted from Krukowski’s book: “Social media have no content to offer other than what their users provide. Yet that information, too, is limited to isolated signal as defined by the platform — a neat trick.” Then she made her own supporting argument.

“I also hate Facebook, and I hate Facebook more and more every day,” she said, bemoaning the algorithms it uses to determine what is signal and what is noise for its 2 billion users.

“Noise is necessary. If we’re going to stay human, visual, audio, emotional noise, it’s what makes life. If you don’t have it, you don’t really even have the conditions for living. If things are signal only, that literally means there is no room for coincidence, synchronicity, kismet, randomness — the things that make life feel realistic,” she said.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Capturing the beauty and emotion of London’s y…

Capturing the beauty and emotion of London’s young men:

Rosie Matheson’s Boys series is, in this humble digihuman research monkey’s opinion, bloody gorgeous. The light is beautiful, and somehow in each shot she captures something with simmering intensity and yet an overriding intimacy and sensitivity throughout the whole series. She has an incredible talent for getting touching the heart of her subject in each shot. Beautiful example of why film is still such a beautiful, vital medium.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human