Cookie Consent: We use cookies to give you the best online experience, for analytics, performance, and to tailor the experience towards your interests.


The Gray Area with Sean Illing


Sean Illing talks with technology writer and philosopher Ian Bogost about the state of social media — especially in the wake of Elon Musk's recent acquisition of Twitter. They discuss the recent but surprising history of the platforms that have come to dominate the lives of so many, and note a crucial shift that made social media what is today. Sean and Ian also talk about how Silicon Valley views "scale," whether Twitter should be treated as a public utility, and how — as a society — we might be able to quit. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Ian Bogost (@ibogost), contributing writer, The Atlantic; professor and director of film & media studies, Washington University of St. Louis References:  "The Age of Social Media Is Ending" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Nov. 10) "The Madness of Twitter" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Nov. 22) "People Aren't Meant to Talk This Much" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Oct. 22, 2021) "Facebook Is A Doomsday Machine" by Adrienne LaFrance (The Atlantic; Dec. 15, 2020) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg & Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit