Final Post: Wrapping up, and Presenting Pathways


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On September 7th, 2014, I boarded a plane from New York City to London to officially begin my stint as a National Geographic Fulbright Digital Storytelling Fellow. Today, close to a year later, I’ve finally launched the output of this year of work, research, and investigation. That result is Pathways, a website that presents an exploration of a month’s worth of mobile data from four different groups of Londoners.

I came to London interested in what our data can tell us about our lives, as experienced online and offline. I was profoundly aware of the vast amounts of data we generate daily, and even more mindful of how easily that data can be ignored. This dichotomy fueled my desire to investigate people’s relationships with their mobile data. I wanted to know what stories data collected from phones could (and could not) tell about the owners of those mobile phones.

Even as I write these words, there are countless examples that point to the increasingly important role that data is playing in our lives today. From incidents like the recent Ashley Madison hacks to discoveries that our governments regularly monitor citizens, it’s clear that our data has the potential to speak louder than we may be willing to accept. We no longer have a choice about whether or not we want to investigate what our data says about us— if we aren’t the ones to willingly do that work, the evidence shows that there are others with far less altruistic intentions who will. In this sense, Pathways is centrally positioned in this shifting world that we find ourselves in, where the laws and mores of what our data means and how it should —> Read More