Social media, fake news & loneliness in pandemic times webinar

This entertaining and insightful webinar brings together two Anastasias - a TEDx speaker, Huffington Post blogger, and author of Homo Distractus Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina and Senior Lecturer and Course Leader BA (Hons) Journalism of University of Westminster Dr Anastasia Denisova FHEA, author of Internet Memes and Society.

Dr Dedyukhina is an expert in digital wellbeing, while Dr Denisova is a specialist in viral media. Together they explore the phenomenon of loneliness in the age of social networks, and why 'viruses' get spread online faster than good messages.

During this event, they cover the following questions:

  • Why fake news spread faster than fact-checked news?
  • What are the triggering emotions in the spread of viral messages?
  • What is the Dunning-Kruger effect and why it has affected anti-vax hysteria as much as corona rumours?
  • How not to get affected by 'contagious' social media news
  • While technology allows us to connect to others in all possible ways, increasingly many people report feeling lonely. Why does it happen?
  • Addictive design: why our devices are so irresistible and what triggers you to check yours. What effect does it have on our ability to connect with other people?
  • Is social media really about connections? What do they lack that we have in real life?
  • Why children are able to better recognize other people’s emotions after they are deprived of tech for 5 days
  • Linking vs ranking: two forces determining human interaction, and how this is used in tech design. Prevalence of ranking in social media.
  • What is a ‘healthy’ usage of social media during pandemic?

About the speakers:

Dr Anastasia Denisova is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in BA (Hons) Journalism, University of Westminster. Her recent book Internet Memes and Society was published in 2019 by Routledge. In March 2020, she edited a special edition Viral Media or Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. Her other research publications include articles for Media, Culture and Society; Social Media + Society; Comparative Sociology; M/C Journal. Anastasia’s work explores digital satire, viral cultures, digital journalism, and recently -fashion media and sustainability.

Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina is an author, TEDx speaker, Huffington Post blogger, organizer of the first mindful tech festival Focus Inside and a former senior digital marketer. Having spent 12+ years working for global media and internet brands, she ditched her smartphone in the middle of her senior international career in London, when she realized how dependent she had become on the gadget.

Today she acts as a business mentor, supporting ethical tech startups, and runs a tech-life balance consultancy Consciously Digital, helping companies and individuals be more productive and less stressed in an age of digital distraction.


What's included:

  • video recording of the webinar
  • slides (pdf)
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