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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Coming Untethered: The Unintended Consequences of Hyper Digitalization | USC Viterbi School of Engineering

In her new book, Dr. Julie Albright, currently a lecturer in the departments of Applied Psychology and Systems Architecting and Engineering at USC, explores the impact of a digital society on our relationships and behaviors.

Julie Albright.
Photo: Kris Krug
A leading researcher on the social impacts of technology, Dr. Julie Albright, lecturer in Systems Architecting and Engineering at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, believes we’ve come to a point of imbalance. After centuries of connecting with each other face-to-face and with nature, we’ve come to rely on digital connections in every aspect of our lives. In just a few years, we’ve completely moved away from these offline relationships, creating a new paradigm that we must grapple with to rebalance ourselves and restabilize our society.

What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
We’re in a transitional period between analog and digital. Socially, people are pulling away from traditional social processes and structures, like getting married or buying a home, which are some of the traditional markers of adulthood. Now they’re hyper attaching to digital technologies. It’s creating a wave of unintended social consequences that people are still grappling with...


How do we address these unintended consequences?
The challenge is, how can we create new anchoring points, particularly for young digital natives unhooked from the things that were keeping them stabilized—things like church or, again, marriages. So, how do we create these? One opportunity is the workplace. Maybe that’s the place that has to somehow create community or support in a new way, even though that’s not its traditional role or job.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Left to Their Own Devices:
How Digital Natives Are Reshaping
the American Dream
Source: USC Viterbi School of Engineering