2 March 2016

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Photo by Simon Lindgren

I am back at work after a long recovery from surgery, so spring seems to be the perfect reboot for my academic career. In my 2 months off sick, I’ve ignored emails and forgotten what it is to be academic. But I started work again on Monday, and today I spent with colleagues from Umeå University and our partners, the University of Westminster at a workshop on Advancing Social Media Studies. My postdoc project is focused on the impact of digital technologies on archaeology, on the public and on the concept of archaeological expertise, so whilst this may not seem immediately archaeological, public archaeology takes place in all kinds of places.

So today, I gave a short presentation about something that is currently interesting me – the use of Facebook Reactions instead of ‘likes’, and the long appearance of similar phenomena in human communication in the archaeological record. Symbols, shorthand. Nothing on the earth is new after all.

This idea will eventually become a paper I am preparing for a special issue of Discover Society on Digital Futures later in the winter this year. So as a clumsy analogy, this is a reawakening, as Keats would say my ‘lusty spring’ – ethusiastically back to the computer, data collection and analysis and thinking, thinking, and writing.

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