Archives // Essays

Internet Health, Privacy and the Big Technology Companies

Wednesday 21st March 2018

I can’t remember the first time I used the internet, but it would have been at some point in 1998 or 1999 on dial-up. In those early days in my early teens, almost everyone I conversed with online used an alias, be they a friend from school or a stranger on Napster or LimeWire. It was seen as entirely normal to mask your identity online and to hide behind an alias for better or for worse. I didn’t publicly share my age, my location, my gender or any of my other personal attributes, because the early days of the internet were marked by distrust. It was a different way of thinking back then. So much has changed over the course of the last fifteen to twenty years.

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Seven Year of Photo a Day

Thursday 8th March 2018

On Sunday 6th March 2011, I stood on the end of the wooden pier in Sopot, northern Poland, and looked out over the ice covered Bay of Gdańsk. I was on the second of what would be many research trips to the Tricity for my PhD, and I was feeling quite lonely. I didn’t speak anywhere near enough Polish, having spent the previous year in formal Russian for Social Science lessons* rather than Polish, and although I had been introduced to a wonderful team at the University of Gdańsk who helped me to make contact with my research participants and conduct interviews out in the tiny villages surrounding Lake Żarnowiec, I was feeling pretty lost.

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