The People vs devices #ThrowbackThursday


The People vs devices #ThrowbackThursday
The People vs devices #ThrowbackThursday

Flashback to June 2018.#

When 3Ai Fellow Amy McLennan and friend of 3Ai Mark Pesce recorded ‘The People vs devices’ podcast with Josh Szeps on ABC Radio National, it would have been impossible to imagine the world as it is right now.

In 2020, we are living our lives through a screen.

Our reliance on devices and our time spent staring at a screen has been cast into a different light amidst a global pandemic. It’s how people of all ages work, learn, maintain relationships, have fun and stay updated. Many professionals also use digital devices — to do everything from medical consultations to stock management to shipping navigation.

In this podcast, Amy, Mark and Josh discussed how much screen time is too much and whether we are addicted to personal devices. Many of the observations and the questions that were asked in 2018 still apply now that families, communities and workplaces have become diasporic. The digital environment is changing, and so too are other parts of our built environment. In 2020, these other parts of our environment are forcing us to #StayHome.

There is still much to learn from our thinking from the past. What is our relationship with our devices? What could it be? What should it be? How will this shape our experience of the world? And how are devices shaping our relationships with each other and the environment?

In 2018, Amy reflected that we need to be careful of the ways we choose to recount history. The way we consider our devices can conjure different framings. Are we siloed in our own self-curated digital spaces? Or do our devices enable participation in shared experiences and allow us to build relationships? Covid-19 will undoubtedly affect the histories we will tell.

Settle in with your device and have a listen to the People Vs podcast this #ThrowbackThursday. You can listen on our YouTube Channel here.

The original podcast:

_ABC Radio National, The People vs with Josh Szeps

Episode: The People vs devices

Duration: 53min 57sec

Broadcast: Sun 18 Jan 2019. The episode was first broadcast on 10 June 2018.


Over the coming months we will be casting our minds back to where we’ve come from with #ThrowbackThursday. Everything has a history, and what we learn from the past just might help us muddle through this chaotic present to build the future we want to see.

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

arrow-left bars search times