Digital Lives

We live in a digital age, where our lives are increasingly occupied with what can be seductive activities: texts, posts, games, tags and tweets. We use devices that are changing how we live, work and interact with one another.

But in the midst of this digital revolution, critics worry about the price we might be paying in our new ways of connecting. WBUR explores these worries in a weekly series, “Digital Lives.”

User Comments: Is Facebook Bad For Our Self-Esteem?

In the fifth installment of our Digital Lives series, we explore how Facebook and our carefully crafted online personas affect our own relationship with ourselves.

Facebook Envy: How The Social Network Affects Our Self-Esteem

Researchers are working to discover how the idealized versions of ourselves that we project, and consume, through Facebook affects us in the real world.

Hotmail Shame: The Digital World’s Social Pressures And Netiquette Dilemmas

The digital world comes with social pressures, etiquette dilemmas and this uncomfortable truth: there is such a thing as online status, and many of us care more about it than we want to admit.

Having A Conversation About Our Digital Lives

A collection of user comments on our latest series, “Digital Lives.”

The Perils And Evolving Promise Of Multitasking

BOSTON — Multitasking is a myth. The brain is not designed to let people think of more than one thing at a time. Technology is taxing this bottleneck, but better tools could help the new demands of our digital lives.

Viewpoints: Gaming’s Impact

Four video gamers weigh in on their playing and its effects.

My Son, The Dragon Slayer: The Risks And Rewards Of Growing Up Gaming

BOSTON — What does it mean to grow up gaming? Critics warn that games may be addictive and lead to aggression. Supporters say that games may be the best educational tools ever.

How Our Digital Devices Are Affecting Our Personal Relationships

In our “always on” lives, there are many who worry we are too immersed in the digital world and not present enough in the real world.

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  • A. Cooke-Jackson PhD

    Iris thanks for the wonderful and engaging program this morning. I teach at Emerson College in Boston and we are tackling these issues in the classroom. Your insights are extremely poignant for me as a faculty esp. given that some of our programs emphasize the use of media. A colleague of mine – Dr. Paul Mihailidis – is doing some large scale research on this topic. He has gathered some interesting findings. He “evaluated the mobile habits of students of 52 nationalities, attending universities in eight countries, on three continents. He had the 800 students track their mobile use over a 24-hour period this past spring 2012.” The outcomes were powerful… some of the students in the study literally talk about their “interpersonal relationships” with their smart phones. To the extent that they report sleeping with their phones – have them on in the waking and sleeping hours. You all might want to check out his web site – A Tethered World at What I appreciate about his work and pedagogy is that he teaches students how to be wise consumers and users of media and digital devices – a great and necessary approach!

    I’ve also provided his link for your preview:

    Again, I am excited for the continuation of this series – something we can all related to and that is important as we negotiate our wired lives!



  • roberta kaufman

    all these digital devices were originally used for military training and still are!!!!!!

    will our environment survive the abuse of these corporate controls ?

  • Geoff Dutton

    I have a question. R U the same person you were before you went digital? I’ll bet not.

    The MS lady may demur, but do you seriously think smartphones, texting, FB and email haven’t changed your personal and social identity? All that technology may enhance your interactions in some ways, but it also supplants them. In so doing, you are being absorbed in a digital nexus where you spend an astonishingly large portion of your time on earth. If that doesn’t fundamentally change who you are, I’ll eat my hat. In so doing, you are allowing the strategies of high-tech enterprises to shape your everyday life, without a whimper. Or if you do whimper, I’ll bet it’s complaining that the technology doesn’t work better.

    My message to you: Don’t let the digits do all your talking. Stop being a tech tool. Get a life, in the real world, before you completely dissociate into the Internet.

  • Mike Smith

    Fascinating stuff here!
    I’ve witnessed what appear to be personal psychological breakdowns broadcast over social media. Like the netiquette article says, “it’s like a train wreck you don’t want to watch, but you can’t help it.” Most people dealing with a breakdown become withdrawn in real life and digital life…how common is it these days to do the exact opposite?

  • Jessica Thompson

    Thank you for this! The internet and social media are amazing, but we are still figuring out how to integrate them healthfully into our lives. I definitely feel addicted to social media at times, and also feel that using it extensively brings down my mood. Many people deny this for themselves personally, but I have to think it at least has the negative effect of taking up time that could be better spent on something else.

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