The distinction between the online world and real life is thinner than we imagine. So when comment trolls run rampant, our national discourse cannot help but be changed.
The distinction frequently made between the online world and real life doesn't hold up under scrutiny, says cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken. What we do in the real world reflects online, and what happens online invariably seeps into our daily life, if not overwhelming it from time to time. This plasma membrane, which separates online and real life, is mediated in one direction by what is called "cyber migration," i.e. the transaction in which what we do on the Internet affects our real lives.
When dating online, people disclose personal details more readily than in real life. This leads to a false sense of intimacy that can result in serious misunderstandings over sexual desire.
The UK's National Crime Agency recently reported that sexual assault associated with online dating had increased by six-hundred percent. That's a shocking statistic at odds with what has become an accepted way to meet people romantically. And while many individuals have had pleasant, or at least neutral experiences with online dating, those promoting the activity are often simultaneously selling it.
1% of all Google searches are health queries. Cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken explains how artificial intelligence diagnostics lead to psychosomatic symptoms, and potentially explain the fourfold increase in iatrogenic death in the US since 1999.
The internet is full of information. It is a data piñata so stuffed that if you hit it, your baseball bat would split in two. But remember that old adage about quality vs. quantity? It’s never been more relevant than now, in the age of digital health searches and rampant self-diagnosis.
Mary Aiken specializes in the impact of technology on human behaviour, and has written extensively on issues relating to the intersection between humankind and technology — or as she describes it "where humans and technology collide." She appears regularly on radio and television and frequently gives talks to the public and private sector on an international basis. Dr. Mary Aiken is an Adjunct Associate Professor at University College Dublin, Geary Institute for Public Policy, and Academic Advisor (Psychology) to the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) at Europol. She is a lecturer in Criminology and Research Fellow at the School of Law, Middlesex University, a Fellow of the Society for Chartered IT Professionals, a Sensemaking Fellow at the IBM Network Science Research Centre, and Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Cyber Analytics at AIRS Hawaii Pacific University. She is a member of the Hague Justice Portal advisory board and Director of the Cyberpsychology Research Network. Her groundbreaking work inspired the CBS television series "CSI: Cyber."