Seminar 1: The social bubble


Date: Friday, 28th November 2014
Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Hartley Suite, Staff Social Centre, University of Southampton

This first seminar explored whether technologies create a social bubble and, if so, do they increase social isolation, or provide helpful ways of engaging with other people in a remote way? Specifically, computer-mediated communication has become a pervasive part of everyday life and concerns have been raised about how technology seems to increasingly encourage people to avoid physical and direct social interaction with each other. At the same time, it has been argued that technologies have particular potential and benefit for people on the autism spectrum precisely because direct social interaction can be controlled, managed or avoided. Therefore, if society is increasingly operating within digital social bubbles, could it be that society is also becoming more autism-friendly?

This seminar included a welcome address by Andrew Monaghan, CEO of Autism Hampshire, an invited address from Professor Kevin Durkin from the University of Strathclyde and input from the seminar organisers, Sarah Parsons, Nicola Yuill, Judith Good and Mark Brosnan, as well as discussions and a plenary forum.