x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Our Relationship with Social Media

This event occurred on
July 14, 2015
1:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Northbrook, Illinois
United States

Come join us for this TEDx viewing party at the Northbrook Public Library. Our theme for the night is "Our Relationship with Social Media." Refreshments will be provided. Tickets are not required but registration is suggested. All are welcome, but seating is limited to the first 100 attendees.

Post Event Recap:

After a brief introductory TEDx video, three TED Talks were screened:

- Social activist Monica Lewinsky, "The Price of Shame"
- Cognitive scientist Stefana Broadbent, "How the Internet Enables Intimacy"
- Futurist Juan Enriquez, "Your Online Life, as Permanent as a Tattoo"

Quite a few participants voiced their approval of Monica Lewinsky’s message of empathy, especially when dealing with online interactions. Often people will post comments that they would never say to someone face-to-face, which can be hurtful. They felt like they understood how she could make a mistake at age 22 – mistakes at that age are a fact of life – and were made aware of just how devastating the effect of it was on her due to the magnification and spread of the information via the Internet. One participant felt that Ms. Lewinsky did a good job of reinventing herself, and another enjoyed her suggestion to be an "upstander." Another participant felt that it needed to be pointed out that there is a difference between social media and other technologies, such as Skype. Not all of either type of technology is bad, if used in positive ways. All seemed to agree that the negativity with regard to social media stems from its abuse by some, and that nothing is “all bad.”

The second talk sparked discussion about whether or not technology does nor does not promote intimacy. Some felt that the medium is not personal and does not promote “real” intimacy - e.g. it is hard to tell what a person is really feeling or thinking online or in a text. Others voiced the opinion that texting, social media, and Skype are all ways that we can connect and reconnect with others, thus fostering intimacy and relationships like never before.

The third talk was a little confusing to some in its presentation, but the message of the permanency of our electronic lives got across to all. It sparked a good discussion of privacy and the protection of personal information and how even if you don’t go online, your information is out there. The provocative question was raised: Do kids these days even have a private life? It was generally agreed that to be a part of the online world, some privacy must be given up. And even if one does not participate, some information that was once “private” is now more accessible to all – and permanent.

Although one participant felt that the 3 talks veered towards the negative aspects of social
media, the group generally agreed that there was some balance and the discussion that followed highlighted both the positive and negative aspects of this new form of communication.

Further Reading/Watching:

Nadia Goodman, "This is what happened when we posted Monica Lewinsky's TED Talk"
Sally Kohn, "Don't like clickbait? Don't click"
Clay Shirky, "How social media can make history"
Ethan Zuckerman, "Listening to global voices"

Northbrook Public Library
1201 Cedar Lane
Northbrook Public Library
Northbrook, Illinois, 60062
United States
Event type:
Library (What is this?)
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Organizing team


Northbrook, IL, United States
  • Sana Iqbal
    Team member