Vicky’s current academic research focuses on the ways technology is impacting our identity and well-being.
She explores the ethical side of social media, gaming, virtual reality, and the future prospect of artificial intelligence.
How do these innovations affect us socially and morally? What behaviours, if any, do they encourage or discourage? How does online anonymity affect us? How can we use technology for social good? How should children interact with these tools? Where will artificial intelligence take us? How can we combat cyber-bullying, trolling and online abuse? As virtual reality becomes a bigger part of our lives, how can we keep a balance between virtual environments and the value of the physical world?
Vicky believes social media can be a powerful tool for grassroots change. She’s seen this in action, adding her 70k online followers’ energy to a number of successful campaigns like ‘Women on Bank Notes’ and ‘No More Page 3’.
Where did she find this passion for technology? After her initial studies at Oxford University, Vicky moved to the States in the early 2000’s and had a front row seat to watch the digital revolution of social media sweep the USA. Based in California and surrounded by entrepreneurial tech start-ups, she became an early adopter and believes in the positive potential of online engagement.
// TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL //
Vicky often speaks about technology as a tool; that it has potential for both good and harm. We, the users, determine the outcome. In a climate where the technology itself is often blamed when things go wrong, Vicky provides a helpful balance and a pro-tech voice.
On Channel 5 News she debated ‘kids and screens’ where new research claimed that technology is ‘ruining our children’:
//DISCUSSING TECH ON RADIO//
Vicky was invited onto Radio 2’s Clare Balding show to discuss how social media intersects with faith and spirituality. She spoke on the ‘prophetic nature’ of technology and about the ‘false binary’ between online and offline.
You can listen to her segment here.
Aled Jones, on his Radio 2 morning show, invited Vicky to discuss social media and human relationships. Listen to their conversation here.
Radio 4’s Sunday Programme asked Vicky to discuss faith and technology along with panelists Bishop Alan Wilson and Benedictine nun, Dame Catherine Wybourne.
You can listen to the programme here.
// CYBER-BULLYING & TEEN SUICIDES //
Vicky often contributes to discussions about technology and young people. Here on Sky News she speaks about tragic teen suicides resulting from online bullying on sites like ASK.FM:
She discusses the same topic here on the BBC Five o’clock News:
// TWITTER’s BIRTHDAY //
Channel 5 News asked Vicky to discuss the significance of Twitter as they celebrated their 7th birthday and to answer questions about social media’s current and future significance:
// TROLLING OF WOMEN ONLINE //
Vicky was the victim of abusive trolling, both when she lived in the USA and here in the UK. Sky News asked her to speak about these experiences, and how they intersect with her technology research:
Vicky also spoke to BBC News on this topic:
And again, to BBC News, for the 7 o’clock News:
// Live Events //
At Greenbelt Festival – an annual event that attracts twenty thousand people each summer at the Cheltenham Race course – Vicky spoke on ‘Being real in a virtual world’, exploring ideas of technology and spirituality related to her PhD. She spoke to a packed venue with standing room only.
You can purchase her 60 minute talk here.
// IS SOCIAL MEDIA OUT OF CONTROL? //
Vicky was a panelist on BBC 1’s The Big Questions debating the topic:
‘Is social media out of control?’.
// VARIOUS WRITING //
Vicky writes for various papers, magazines and blogs on technology and ethics including the Independent and The Guardian.
// ONLINE ETHICS //
Think-tank DEMOS have launched the Centre For the Analysis of Social Media (CASM). They have asked Vicky to be one of their advisors.
Find out about the CASM project here.