Purpose of the Blog
We have set up this blog as a place to share our ideas, log our reading activity and generally ensure that we practise expressing our theoretical and conceptual positions in a way that encourages considered debate and interaction. This is particularly important in a multi-disciplinary (or inter-disciplinary) group with different aims and different perspectives in pursuing our research together.
Although most of us come from a psychology research background, research on digital technologies brings us into the domain of media and of information and communications technology. Although we need to understand the technologies we are using, the main focus of our work is on how these technologies are being used and how they change existing modes of communication and engagement with people, objects and ideas.
The concept of problem internet use brings a focus on an understanding of motivations and the ability to self-regulate our behaviour. It also requires consideration of the concept of engagement, immersion and interactivity. Consideration of cyber-bullying requires a conceptual understanding of the notion of bullying, and the personality factors that contribute to bullying and victimisation.
The concept of identity and how social media influence the emergence and projection of identity across the lifespan requires consideration of a number of important psychological constructs, but also requires a clear understanding of the way that technology works.
The effect of new media and new technology on ways of thinking and on social interaction has been considered during the course of human history by many thinkers, and it is incumbent on us all to become acquainted with the ideas of those who have gone before us. One of the main reasons for creating a lab blog is to allow us to share our ideas and our reading with each other in an open forum.