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‘Social Media Is Breaking’ Panel Discussion to be Held in West Hartford

The University of Hartford in West Hartford will host a panel discussion on the topic ‘Social Media Is Breaking. How Can We Fix It?’ 


The University of Hartford is hosting a panel discussion about the concerns and challenges of social media on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the Konover Campus Center Great Room, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford (campus map).

Admission is free and open to the public.

Titled “Social Media Is Breaking. How Can We Fix It?” the discussion will cover topics like what is the possible adverse impact social media can have on mental health, issues around the spreading of misinformation, privacy concerns, online incivility, and tech “addiction.”

Panelists include:

  • David Ryan Polgar, a pioneering tech ethicist who paved the way for the hotly debated issues around Facebook, privacy, ethical design, digital wellbeing, and what it means to be human in the digital age.
  • Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut, whose research focuses on information sharing as communication on social media.
  • Laura Messner, a professional Obstacle Course Racer who was recently on NBC’s new show Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge.
  • Adam Chiara (moderator), an applied assistant professor in the School of Communication at the University of Hartford. Chiara is an authority on issues relating to social media’s impact on politics and media.

The discussion will dig into the tension between the business interests of Silicon Valley – eyeballs and engagement – with the human interest of users, trustworthy information, and increasing happiness. The event also will allow for ample time for audience questions and debate.

“We interact with news and information on social media constantly, but what are the real impacts? With our divided attention, important outcomes such as learning from or acting upon current events issues may be limited,” said Oeldorf-Hirsch. “We need to address how users can more meaningfully engage with content through social media apps.”

 “There is currently a lot of debate and disagreement around correlation-versus-causation as it relates to the potential adverse impact around heavy social media use,” Polgar added. “But one area we should all be able to agree on is that social media is not meeting its promise and potential to reduce bias through interconnectedness, increase happiness by making and deepening friendships, and improving societal knowledge through instant content sharing. Now is the time to fix social media for the better.” 

For more information, visit: bit.ly/FixSocialMedia

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