Trailer: Introducing Season 3In Season 3 of IRL, we’re exploring the bargains we make online every day, and how we might approach striking better deals with the powers that be. You’ll find out what happened when the U.S. Army got into the video game business, what it’s like to be a professional flirter on Tinder (for real), and how a super cute pig transformed a person’s life one Instagram post at a time. Episode 1 launches July 2nd.
We’re told from a young age to “accept the things we cannot change.” But should this be the case online as well? We click “Accept” every day, but often don’t know what we’re giving away. Is it a fair trade, and should we demand a better bargain? Veronica Belmont and special guest Dave Pell explore if what we get for what we give online is a good deal. We hear how one man’s HIV status was exposed without permission, how a massive data-mining company is using our information to predict how we’ll behave, and why on earth our email inboxes are filling up with privacy policies. Show Notes
Tom Hayes works for an organization called Beyond Positive.
Nora Young discusses the GDPR in this episode. Here are 13 more things you need to know about the GDPR.
Beyond GDPR, check out what else is changing your online rights.
The rest of Jaron Lanier’s talk can be heard on TED Talks Daily.
Subscribe to Dave Pell’s NextDraft newsletter.
Read Mozilla’s take on privacy and the trade-offs we make online.
2: Press PlayOne of the most successful recruitment tools the U.S. Army ever made was… a video game? Sometimes without even knowing it, gaming elements in technology — often designed for addiction — are incentivizing you to think certain ways and do certain things. Join Veronica Belmont and co-pilot Ashley Carman as they explore the rise of gamification in our everyday lives, its positives and negatives, and its future. Show Notes
Ashley Carman is the cohost of the tech podcast, Why’d You Push That Button?
Long before the Internet, games were a source of entertainment, comradery, and learning. The rise of technology enabled games to take on video form, and gaming as we know it became popular. Big Tech now gamifies most elements of our online life. The more you know about the evolution of games and why we are all so connected to them, the more you can see how they’re used to sometimes make online experiences better and sometimes more addictive. Here’s more on the games we play online, from Mozilla.
There’s a new currency in town (and no, we’re not talking about Bitcoin). We’re talking about attention. In this episode of IRL, Veronica Belmont and special guest Jane Lytvynenko explore all the ways your attention has become worth money on social media. Meet Hamlet the Piggy, an Instagram star who is helping her owner cope with epilepsy and also build a business; Lisette Calveiro, whose quest for fame online left her spending beyond her means; and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, who discusses what’s behind the emerging attention economy. Show Notes
When does attention online turn into addiction online? Here’s a perspective from Mozilla’s Heather West.
Imagine a world where social networks weren’t necessarily designed to capture your attention, but instead were built to benefit you and your community. Here are some thoughts by Katharina Nocun on what this would look like.
And, here’s a piece by Nick Briz about how attention merchants online use your digital fingerprints to target you with content.
:‘-) Ever wonder why emoticons exist? They popped up in the 1980s to make online connections feel a little less digital and a little more personal :D. In this episode of IRL, host Veronica Belmont and special guest Peter Rojas explore how the Internet is both building and also confusing our relationships every day. Chloe Stuart-Ulin gives a first-hand account of her life as a “closer” for an online-dating service; we hear a dramatic, real-life story about a woman who finds her biological parent online; and Emma Brockes talks about how we can all maintain humanity while interacting with others on the internet. Show Notes
Read more about Chloe Rose’s experience as a “closer” for hire on online dating apps.
Emma Brockes writes a column for the Guardian called How to be Human Online. She’s just written a book too called, An Excellent Choice: Panic and Joy on My Solo Path to Motherhood.
Read Ingrid Burrington’s essay about CorrLinks, the email service providing connection for inmates at U.S. prisons.
Check out this article about how the internet has changed dating forever. Online dating coach Laurie Davis Edward shares her thoughts on the good, bad and ugly that comes with finding love on the web.
And, for more about human connection, and what our innate desire for it means for us as we — more and more — love, do business, and find our tribes online, read this piece by cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell.
Finally, for some bonus audio on how technology interfered with a marriage proposal — and commentary on new relationship norms — head over to Mozilla’s blog.
It’s a problem when tribalism divides us, online and in real life. Join Veronica Belmont and Franchesca Ramsey as they meet the people working to make the web — and world — friendlier places. Jhamel Robinson discusses how he used social media to organize a massive BBQ in Lake Merritt park after a racial altercation went viral; Dr. Meredith Clark sheds light on the need for social media platforms to hire members of vulnerable communities; Jon Ronson talks about snap judgements; Professor Kip Williams speaks to the effects of ostracism online and off; and recent high school graduate Natalie Hampton shares her story of surviving extreme bullying and what she’s doing now to help others. Show Notes
And, learn more about Natalie Hampton’s Sit With Us app.
Today’s teens are the first humans who have spent their entire lives online. Join Veronica Belmont and Manoush Zomorodi as they explore what kids are facing on the interwebs, how they’re using social media for good, how they’re handling cyberbullying, and how parents can keep up.
Parkland, Florida’s Cameron Kasky discusses how he uses social media as a platform for activism; tech journalist Alexandra Samuel talks about Lil Tay and and the the role parents can play as they help their children navigate the internet; and Common Sense Media’s Sierra Filucci gives us an exclusive look at data from a new study about technology’s impact on our youth. Show Notes
Manoush Zomorodi is the co-host of ZigZag, a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives. She’s also the author of Bored an Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self.
Jeff Kasky is the President of Families vs. Assault Rifles, a political action committee founded by parents of Parkland, Florida Douglas High students working to restrict access to assault rifles.
For a detailed summary of Common Sense Media’s findings on technology and teens, check out this summary of their Social Media, Social Life study. Also check out this commentary from Common Sense about supporting research on tech’s impact on the health and well-being of kids.
There are a number of Firefox extensions that can help parents guide their children’s internet experiences, such as Parental Control: Family Friendly Filter, which blocks certain websites deemed inappropriate for kids. You can find this extension and more in our Parental Controls collection.
Finally, here’s a short film by Darren Pasemko and Mozilla’s Brett Gaylor demonstrating just how much technology has come into family life.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election blew up our ideas about influence campaigns in the age of screens. Two years later, Veronica Belmont and Baratunde Thurston examine how the internet is changing our minds, our votes, and our democracies – all over the world.
Pulitzer prize winning New York Times reporter Scott Shane details the United States’ long history with election meddling. Paris correspondent for the Washington Post, James McAuley, shines a light on how other countries are managing the the changing dynamics of online political campaigns. And speculative fiction authors Malka Older and Genevieve Valentine describe what elections may look like in the future, with advances in technology. Show Notes
Malka Older is a writer and humanitarian aid worker. Her latest fiction book State Tectonics (The Centenal Cycle) is about how the future of democracy can be purchased. Check out Candidate Y, her speculative fiction that premiered on this episode of IRL.
For more on telling fact from falsehood leading up to election cycles, watch Mozilla’s original short film, Misinfo Nation: Misinformation, Democracy, and the Internet.
This article discusses how fair elections require responsible tech. Mozilla Foundation Advocacy Lead Ashley Boyd suggests that for democracy to thrive in the internet era, we need technology that respects privacy.
And, really: it shouldn’t be hard to participate in politics. Mozilla is out to make it a little easier. Go to mozilla.org/vote to get Firefox features to help you you counter misinformation as you browse the Web and lessen the ability for those behind political ads to microtarget you on Facebook.