Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nora Young Searches for the Soul of The Virtual Self

 I discuss Nora Young's new book for Nurun's Digital for Real Life blog:
In her new book The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us, Nora Young explains how the combination of social media and geolocative smartphones now allow us to create elaborate shadow selves comprised entirely of data. Never before have we been able to share our daily activities with the world and also have them link back to our physical locations. The result is “a Data Map, a digital version of our earthly selves.”
The explosion of self-generated personal data has happened so quickly that we have yet to fully understand its implications. Through a combination of research, participatory journalism and in-depth interviews, Young considers the unintended consequences of our ability to post photos of everything we eat to Instagram and track our spending habits via Mint.com.
Read the full review.