Attention, Democracy, and the Internet

Public Event at Deichman library Grünerløkka

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Sebastian Watzl and Gunn Enli discuss how the internet affects democracy (also part of the discussion: Eivind Skogen)

On march 30th, the Salient Solutions project participated at two fantastic events at Deichman library in Grünerløkka.

During the day, we and our friends at the Digital Disconnection project, asked people to give away their smart phones for an offline day at the library. Would people be willing to let go off their phones for a few hours? How would they react? What obstacles would get in the way? We were curious...

Deichman library Grünerløkka
Deichman Library Grünerløkka

It turned out that a vast majority was happy to put their phone away for some period of time. And we had many amazing conversations as a result. We learned from the mother whose vigilance is always needed for another call from children or parents, the need to use the phone for access to public services, the young adult who needs to arrange dinner with her friends, but we also spoke to parents who never use their phone around their children, or the web-designer who works on creating a more humane experience online. So much input for the philosophy of attention and the threats to good attention that are facing us, and so much opportunity for in-depth discussions with people from all walks of life.

Gunn Enli, Sebastian Watzl, and Trine Syvertsen
Gunn Enli, Sebastian Watzl and Trine Syvertsen proudly presenting some of the questions we had discussed with our participants and the envelopes in which they put away their phones.

In the evening, then, a wide-ranging panel discussion about the effects of the internet and social-media-use on our attention and their climate footprint, on how to create a more climate friendly and democratic internet, and on the responsibilities of state actors, private companies, and ordinary citizens

By Sebastian Watzl
Published May 16, 2022 4:55 PM - Last modified May 16, 2022 6:16 PM