Alexis Shore Shares Her Thoughts Ahead of Her First Colloquium Speaker Series Talk on “Platforms as Rulemakers for Interpersonal Communication: The Case of The Screenshot Feature”
By: Snigdha Bhowmik
In this era of digital communication, we have become accustomed to sharing our lives with the world, one screenshot at a time. Whether it's a hilarious meme, an inspirational quote, or a juicy tidbit from a private conversation, the act of capturing what's on our screens has become second nature. But let's pause for a moment and consider something that most of us have overlooked: screenshots can be a privacy issue, and it's high time we pay attention.
Alexis Shore, Ph.D. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University’s College of Communication will be presenting her research on the topic “Platforms as Rulemakers for Interpersonal Communication: The Case of The Screenshot Feature” as part of the Communication Research Center Colloquium Series. Shore aims to make people think about taking screenshots in a new and safe way through her talk.
Screenshots can be incredibly handy. They allow us to save information, document conversations, and share content quickly. However, their normalization in today’s society comes with a significant privacy trade-off, one that we often downplay or ignore.
When asked about why she believes this topic is relevant in today’s age, Shore said “We use digital communication every day to talk to people so this privacy issue overlaying our conversations threatens our ability to speak to each other. We don’t use texting to just talk about surface-level mundane things, we use it to gossip and share secrets.” The very existence of the screenshot feature makes us fear disclosing intimate details about our lives via text message and also hinders our ability to talk candidly in person, she explains. You never know when your privacy and expectations are violated because now they leave behind a digital paper trail that can never be erased.
This talk will apply an extended version of communication privacy management theory (CPM) to study screenshot collection and sharing of private digital messages. Recommendations for future study and design of the screenshot feature, as well as its broader implications for interpersonal surveillance, will be discussed. To learn more about privacy management decisions and perceptions, join us on 28th September at COM 209 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. You’ll definitely leave the room thinking twice about capturing your next screenshot.