The role of mobile telephony in the renewal of the public sphere and the extension of democratic processes

Mobile phone use has become ubiquitous (fig. 1), especially among the young and wealthy with more than five billion uses worldwide (Pew Research, 2019). Smartphones herald the arrival of convergence bringing together the formally ‘separate business of media, telecommunications, and computing/information technology into interdependent services’ via digital networks (Cinque, 2012, p,14).  The speed of change in technology has garnered much discussion as to the social-political and economic effects creating debates between dystopian sceptics and … Read More

There’s the Internet of things IoT but what about the Internet of Humanity IoH?

An Internet of Humanity IoH to resist Surveillance Capitalism There’s the Internet of things IoT but what about the Internet of Humanity IoH? Introduction While self-tracking with the rise of the IoT is contributing to many pro-social benefits for public health, these practices are also transforming notions of the public and private self and raising substantial ethical issues in the age surveillance capitalism. Self-tracking in the Quantified Self (QS) movement originated with Gary Wolf … Read More

Coca-Cola Advertising and the Mask of Authenticity

Advertising identifies trends, raids culture and constructs desires (Lyth, p3). Through a semiotic qualitative textual analysis, this paper explores how Coca Cola advertisements, at three key junctures in history, have relied upon an authentic/commercial binary that has existed since the Romantic turn during the Enlightenment to promote the myth of a depth ontology and an authentic self in contrast to ‘shallow consumerism’(Banet-Weiser, 2012, Erving Goffman and the Performed Self 2015, Potter, 2010). In line … Read More


American pro-gun culture has it that guns don’t kill people, people do. As easy to extend this logic to social media and the internet there are serious issues with such comparisons. Media guru Douglas Rushkoff says, ‘guns don’t kill people, but you can do a lot more damage with a gun than you can with a pillow’. He is referring to the inherent affordances of social media when it runs on an anti-human operating … Read More