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Lunchbox / Soapbox

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at The Wheeler Centre

The Human Experience in the Digital Age: Conversation, Relationships and Social Connection

“Only Connect” said E M Forster. Could Mr Forster have envisaged a world in which one person connected with another, thousands of miles away, through free video and voice calls, instant messages and file sharing, via a computer and broadband internet connection? Humans are now so freely connected through computers as to cause consternation to governments like those of Russia and China.

Skype is on a mission to ‘enable the world’s conversations,’ says its President, Josh Silverman. ‘Allowing the world to communicate for free empowers and links people and communities everywhere,’ he believes. The etymology of the word ‘conversation’ is ‘act of living with’, or ‘to live with, keep company with’.

But does virtual communication improve or impair that capacity for good human connection? How are conversations and thus relationships and identities changing in the digital age, as so many of us now have online presences? Visiting from the UK for the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Anita Sethi ponders these questions and more.


Portrait of Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi is an award-winning British writer, journalist and broadcaster who has written for national and international newspapers and magazines.

Lunchbox / Soapbox

We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $10 lunchboxes in the Performance Space from 12.20pm.


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