Our personal space is like an invisible sphere around us, reaching from our bodies at the centre to the tips of our fingers. Ironically, this is also where many of us keep our phones - the windows that lets us see into the rest of the world - and the door that lets the rest of the world into our personal space. What’s the best way to control who comes in, and what do we need to do when we want to close it?
Produced by Kate Bissell
Violent content online has rightly been condemned. Yet while we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why.
Social media is about stories, and what's more interesting - to you at least - than telling your own?
When you post, you're building a narrative: this is who I am and this is what I like.
You're creating your very own movie, pulling in a range of characters. Then you've got stage sets and let's not forget the bit parts; those people who dip in and out of your life and provide endless story fodder.
But what happens when you discover that it's you who has in fact been cast in the cameo role in someone else's social media story?
We hear from the unwitting extras: from the seat mates on a plane caught in a publicity storm after a woman posted about the apparent beginning of their great romance, to a man who helped his neighbour and ended the subject of her tweets.
So what does this mean for personal autonomy, having a voice, and the limits of the stories we can or should tell online? Does the digital world blur the boundaries between what stories are yours to tell?
Aleks Krotoski explores the tension between entitlement and a feeling of voicelessness.
Producer: Caitlin Smith
Zachary, Stina and Andrea do not suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder but they all became stuck in obsessional loops after being triggered by an event in their lives which left them looking for answers. Their obsessions left them all with compulsions to watch and research others online, to seek the certainty they craved to stop the hurt they felt,. But Andrea learnt that "You'll never find the answers you're looking for, but end up chipping away at yourself." For her she believed her obsession and compulsion became a form of self harm.
Emma Stone is the Director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research at the University of Bedfordshire who explains how being engaged in a repetitive behaviour such as online stalking, in which the only reward is getting to look at someone online without getting any reciprocal energy back is not something that is going to raise your self-esteem. From her experience Andrea learnt that once you take something from online to offline you really are deciding who you are going to be and Zach discovered that if you really want to know who you are look at yourself online when no one is watching.
Francesca Cwynar who suffers from Pure O, a form of Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder shares how invisible her obsessive intrusive thoughts are and how she thinks social media mimics the intrusive thoughts people with Pure O experience.
Producer: Kate Bissell
Researcher: Laurence Cook
With thanks to Clea Skopeliti for consultation on OCD research.
The Analogue Human
To celebrate the 100th episode of The Digital Human Aleks Krotoski explores how digital and analogue technologies make us think differently.
And she'll do it by going 'old school' putting down the keyboard and mouse in favour of audio tape and razor blades. But this programme isn't about nostalgia, she'll be investigating the psychological experiences of using these different technologies.
With the help of artists, musicians and photographers she asks if the endless possibilities we're offered by digital tools are as liberating as we think or paradoxically are they paralysing, making it impossible to choose one product, picture, tindr date over another?
Are we more creative, and decisive when we're forced to be by constraints; as we used to be when camera's shot film with a limited number of shots and tippex was the only way to erase something we'd written?
And are we too readily allowing our digital technologies to decide what's important. Whether in music or on the phone our digital devices strip out the 'noise'. Whether that's the background of where we're making a call, or the sound of fingertips on an instrument. When we lose some of that context what else are we sacrificing? Aleks will aim to find the right balance between the two domains, to make the most of each.
Throughout the programme we'll also offer a glimpse behind the scenes of making a programme where the final assembly uses pre-digital techniques; and the scavenger hunt it required to find the long decommissioned tape machines and the people who remember how to operate them.
Producer: Peter McManus