playlist

The pros and cons of digital life

Our hyper-connected lives have been rewired for the digital age. These talks explore how the Internet and social media are shaping our relationships, personal lives and sense of self.

  1. 19:48
    Sherry Turkle Connected, but alone?

    As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.

  2. 9:05
    Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu What your smart devices know (and share) about you

    Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out — so they outfitted Hill's apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising — and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits — and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)

  3. 9:04
    Eli Pariser Beware online "filter bubbles"

    As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

  4. 22:26
    Monica Lewinsky The price of shame

    "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop," says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.

  5. 4:26
    Alexis Ohanian How to make a splash in social media

    In a funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale's rise to web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age.

  6. 10:25
    Dao Nguyen What makes something go viral?

    What's the secret to making content people love? Join BuzzFeed's Publisher Dao Nguyen for a glimpse at how her team creates their tempting quizzes, lists and videos — and learn more about how they've developed a system to understand how people use content to connect and create culture.

  7. 13:07
    Clay Shirky How cognitive surplus will change the world

    Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.

  8. 8:51
    Stefana Broadbent How the Internet enables intimacy

    We worry that IM, texting, Facebook are spoiling human intimacy, but Stefana Broadbent's research shows how communication tech is capable of cultivating deeper relationships, bringing love across barriers like distance and workplace rules.

  9. 8:00
    Evan Williams The voices of Twitter users

    In the year leading up to this talk, the web tool Twitter exploded in size (up 10x during 2008 alone). Co-founder Evan Williams reveals that many of the ideas driving that growth came from unexpected uses invented by the users themselves.

  10. 13:40
    Yasmin Green How technology can fight extremism and online harassment

    Can technology make people safer from threats like violent extremism, censorship and persecution? In this illuminating talk, technologist Yasmin Green details programs pioneered at Jigsaw (a unit within Alphabet Inc., the collection of companies that also includes Google) to counter radicalization and online harassment — including a project that could give commenters real-time feedback about how their words might land, which has already increased spaces for dialogue. "If we ever thought that we could build an internet insulated from the dark side of humanity, we were wrong," Green says. "We have to throw our entire selves into building solutions that are as human as the problems they aim to solve."

  11. 8:27
    Johanna Blakley Social media and the end of gender

    Media and advertising companies still use the same old demographics to understand audiences, but they're becoming increasingly harder to track online, says media researcher Johanna Blakley. As social media outgrows traditional media, and women users outnumber men, Blakley explains what changes are in store for the future of media.

  12. 12:56
    Margaret Gould Stewart How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

    Facebook's "like" and "share" buttons are seen 22 billion times a day, making them some of the most-viewed design elements ever created. Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook's director of product design, outlines three rules for design at such a massive scale—one so big that the tiniest of tweaks can cause global outrage, but also so large that the subtlest of improvements can positively impact the lives of many.

  13. 9:55
    Jennifer Golbeck Your social media "likes" expose more than you think

    Do you like curly fries? Have you Liked them on Facebook? Watch this talk to find out the surprising things Facebook (and others) can guess about you from your random Likes and Shares. Computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck explains how this came about, how some applications of the technology are not so cute — and why she thinks we should return the control of information to its rightful owners.

  14. 5:29
    Adam Ostrow After your final status update

    Many of us have a social media presence — a virtual personality made up of status updates, tweets and connections, stored in the cloud. Adam Ostrow asks a big question: What happens to that personality after you've died? Could it ... live on?

  15. 10:00
    Darieth Chisolm How revenge porn turns lives upside down

    What can you do if you're the victim of revenge porn or cyberbullying? Shockingly little, says journalist and activist Darieth Chisolm, who found herself living the nightmare scenario of having explicit photos taken without her knowledge or consent posted online. She describes how she's working to help victims and outlines the current state of legislation aimed at punishing perpetrators.

  16. 9:52
    Ray Kurzweil Get ready for hybrid thinking

    Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.

  17. 12:12
    Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad How tech companies deceive you into giving up your data and privacy

    Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, Myrstad shares insights about the personal information you've agreed to let companies collect — and how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine.

  18. 7:20
    Kevin Allocca Why videos go viral

    Kevin Allocca is YouTube's Head of Culture & Trends, and he has deep thoughts about silly web video. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral.