These days, it’s hard not to be nostalgic for the “early years” of social media, when new tools promised to help us become better versions of ourselves, connect with friends and relatives around the globe, and collectively build our knowledge.
But what at first seemed to be growing pains, turned into something arguably much darker, with networks held hostage by greedy corporations, algorithms have gone awry and the viral spread of fake news, the manipulation of data for partisan political gain and the rise of hate-fuelled violent content. When it comes to our relationship to social media, we have passed a tipping point into the dystopian future, without ever having really noticed it happening, or consenting to it in a truly informed way. And that has implications for tech companies, for users, and for marketers.
So, what’s the path forward? Is there a way out? What can we anticipate in the next ten years, and how can we take back control over our information – and our attention – to shape the future we want?
About Ramona Pringle
Ramona Pringle is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, and Director of The Innovation Studio, a creative network comprised of three incubators, the Transmedia Zone, Design Fabrication Zone, and Fashion Zone, as well as the Global Campus Studio, a unique digital studio devoted to fostering international co-productions through the use of contemporary collaboration tools.
As a writer, producer, researcher, and journalist, Ramona’s work examines the evolving relationship between humans and technology. She is a technology analyst and columnist for CBC, where she tackles current affairs and explores the impact of technology and social media on all aspects of people’s lives, from work to relationships.
Ramona was the writer and director of the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets, the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation,” and editor in chief of “Rdigitalife”.
Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, Social Media Week, TEDx, and in publications including the New York Times, Mashable, Cult of Mac and the Huffington Post.
Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.