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Death and the digital world

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (1)
How much of us is there beyond the physical? Listen to this episode of Digital Human

Mike uses eye-tracking technology to share his thoughts and views online. In the real world he is confined to a wheel chair and is completely paralysed. 

Elaine Kasket (counselling psychologist) speaks to bereaved people who carry on preserving the digital selves of those who died. She says that our digital selves are confusing because they can seem permanent on one hand, but can also vanish instantly and thus seem ephemeral and fragile. Her clients experience Facebook as the primary channel through which they can connect the dead, a modern-day version of a Victorian medium. Whether they are religious or not, many of them believe that they are able to continue to communicate with the lost ones in the digital sphere.

Computers are our social secretary and confessor. When we die we leave behind a ghost of ourselves: our thoughts, the important, the unimportant, the  daily, the momentous. In a sense, digital afterlife has been achieved through Facebook accounts that remain active and email auto-responder. 


On you can find some Dr. Elaine Kasket' articles: 

Online persona: How much control do we have over our digital image.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 8:32 AM Comments comments (103)
Alex Krotoski looks at how we construct an online persona. Is the social media turning us all into narcissists or are there positive aspects of this too - such as the ability to experiment beyond our immediately surrounding culture and find an identity. Some researchers see the an online space as an "identity laboratory" where we can experiment with multiple identities.

Can we carefully control how we are perceived online? Can activity online lead to performance anxiety? 

Should we always expect a fair amount of abuse? 


Sherry Turkle 

David White