April 15 | “Sharing Emotions in a Platform Society”

Monday, April 15th, 2019, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Room 5307

“Sharing Emotions in a Platform Society” a talk by Anca Țenea

Abstract: Fifteen or twenty years ago, there was widespread enthusiasm about the connectivity digital media was bringing into our lives. The old promises have recently started to turn into concerns about the actual effects of the new technologies on our lives. In a “platform society” (José van Dijck, Thomas Poell, and Martijn de Waal), we book trips, we shop, we interact with each other, we share personal aspects through digital platforms, and the results of all these actions come back to us — in one form or another — guided by specific algorithms and mechanisms.

But what happens when we share emotions or when we are exposed to affective content? And what does sharing actually  mean in the social media ecosystem? Human emotions are often put to work — especially through social media platforms — and these practices should be questioned through frameworks retrieved from a multi-disciplinary approach. This should allow us to distinguish between technophobia and naive techno-enthusiasm, both of which can obscure our vision of a bigger picture and get us to forget how digital tools can and should foster a better society.

Bio: Anca Țenea is a Ph.D. Student at the Center of Excellence in Image Studies, University of Bucharest, where she is pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies. Her project is looking at the intersection of social media algorithms and emotions. At present, she is a Fulbright Visiting Researcher in Digital Humanities and Data Analysis & Visualization at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Prior to this, she worked as a journalist, digital editor, PR specialist, and later on moved to the digital marketing scene as Content Marketing Specialist. Currently, she is more and more interested in how AI shapes people’s connections to each other, and how we can turn it to our favor.

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