"Where sociologists differ from many other social researchers in researching digital media is their awareness that digital data, like any other type of data, are socially created and have a social life, a vitality, of their own. They are not the neutral products of automatic calculation, but represent deliberate decisions by those who formulate the computer algorithms that collect and manipulate these data (boyd and Crawford 2012; Cheney-Lippold 2011; Ruppert et al. 2013). The data that these devices and software produce structure our concepts of identity, embodiment, relationships, our choices and preferences and even our access to services or spaces. Without the knowledge of digital technology users, algorithms measure and sort them, deciding what choices they may be offered (Beer 2009, 2013a). Algorithms and other elements of software, therefore, are generative, a productive form of power (Lash 2007)."
(Deborah Lupton, 2013, p.4)
Deborah Lupton 'Digital Sociology: Beyond the Digital to the Sociological', Paper presented at The Australian Sociological Association 2013 Conference, Monash University, 27 November 2013.
"Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called 'armchair activism,' and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?
A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren't created, and you either have one or you don't. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it's so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn't about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don't teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap."
(Ricardo de Querol, El País, 19 January 2016)
"Mid- to late-20th century theories of the spectacle take little or no account of the creation of the spectacle, because they are so preoccupied with the effects of its consumption. As Dean (2010) has observed, this made sense at a time when most images were produced in a context of 'broadcast media', but offers no way to think about what she calls the 'reflexive circuit' of social media and user-generated content (pp.108-9). As Bayne (2008) points out, 'the incursions of the digital add a mutable new dimension to decades of theorising of the visible and visual in culture' (p.395). The digital positions the spectacle within circulations of power and authorship, and needs alternative perspectives through which to theorise the spectacle for spaces where people create, appropriate and consume."
(Jen Ross, p.261)
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning 2012 , Edited by: Hodgson V, Jones C, de Laat M, McConnell D,. Ryberg T & Sloep P.
"In November 2011, the UN invited representatives from 194 states to discuss climate change at the COP17 Conference (17th Conference of Parties) in Durban, South Africa. CNN launched the ECOSPHERE Project and brought the world to the COP17 Climate Change Conference – with a hashtag.
The CNN ECOSPHERE is a digital ecosystem growing from thousands of tweets about climate change. A real–time visualisation of the global discussion on the internet.
Every #COP17 tweet stimulated growth in one of the numerous plants representing topics like Sustainability or Carbon. The size, colour and growth rate of these plants gave users a fascinating view of how the international conversation was evolving.
CNN invited people to plant a thought with hashtag #COP17 and brought the project to the COP17 Conference. Here a live digital installation connected delegates with contributions from all over the world–getting more people involved in a climate change conference than ever before."