Artist and computer scientist Jonathan Harris reflects on the digital age and the effects of social media in this reshaping culture keynote. Harris describes Facebook and Twitter as routing devices for human attention. These technologies have provided our species with an effective common nervous system that can be used to transmit signals to each other. In these mediums, there is the power to successfully grab the attention of multiple people in a short amount of time. That is, if whatever is sent is beautiful or provocative. Yet these mediums, according to Harris, fail to be devices of self-expression.
Within the current communications network system, Harris found four characteristics of online culture: compression, disposability, curation and self-promotion. Harris believes that the implications of these characteristics are unhealthy for humans. Yet, in order to change them, there is a need to understand them as these are the mediums of the era that resonante with users.