The Internet of Despairing Things

“Hi, thanks for checking in. I’m still a piece of garbage.” Is melancholy a dominant emotional state of many internet users? Why does everyone seem so sad and depressed? Are websites like Upworthy a response to this negativity? A feeble attempt to inject the positive into an all-consumingly depressing world? We all see those Facebook […]

War Games – Gender and Violence After Gamergate

Why are political criticisms of video games so often treated as declarations of war? Gamers may understandably find the question of politics to be rather tiring. To debate whether or not video games are political is, in itself, an exercise in politics, insofar as debate is the process by which the limits of acceptable speech […]

Feelings and How to Mine Them

About a month ago, Facebook released a redesigned “like” feature, with the addition of animated emoji to represent 5 additional emotions. Now, in addition to liking something, you can love (heart) it or react with haha, wow, sad, or angry emoji. Facebook only used to know whether or not you “liked” something, or, rather, whether or […]

Where Do You Go When You Go Online?

Was there ever a sweeter serenade than the song of dial-up internet? After hearing the ghostly sound of modems past floating around my office today, I thought about how that sound has disappeared into the technological past. In a country where only 3% of Americans still use dial-up, the song is almost a dead language, one that used […]