I am a digital sociologist who is deeply curious about how innovations in digital networked technologies become adopted and socially adapted. Our lives have been irrevocably impacted by the advent of the internet. This includes the ways we communicate, how we learn and find information alongside how we create and exchange things that have value to us.
Having watched the spread and adoption of the internet and studied its social impacts, I know that our relationship with innovations in digital networked technologies creates both intended and unintended consequences. Our early and unprocessed reactions are more visible in the real time pulse of social media. Our lives are archived and our online activities create digital traces that reveal more about us and challenge our understandings of privacy and consent. Without a clear intention or direction, we are engineering our future through our mundane daily practices and I think it is important for us to stop and consider what we want our digital future to be.
As a practicing sociologist, my research interests are in digital frontiers, community studies and research methods. This is covered in my recent book, ‘Research Methods and Global Online Communities: a case study’ which combines these areas and forms the basis of my study of emerging communities forming through online spaces and cryptography.
I came to the study of the cryptocurrency community through my exposure to the emerging environment of cyryptomarkets on the dark web. This showed me that we are tinkering away at the edges of money and global markets to engineer a new world based upon radical philosophies and social resistance to the centralised repression of social diversity and personal sovereignty.
Alexia Maddox (PhD) is a Research consultant in the Graduate School of Business and Law at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.