Network of Excellence in Internet Science

JRA6 Official Workshop

“The Effect Of Internet On Human Sociality”

Hosted by 26th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference 2014

30 July 2014, Natal, Brazil

Introduction & Context:

Human sociality, an evolutionary phenomenon that broadly translates as positive social affiliation, has been taking new forms of manifestation since the rise of the Internet and related technologies. We text our romantic partners, like our friends’ posts on social networking sites, send electronic cards to our relatives, to name only a few of the many new ways we initiate and maintain our social bonds.

At the very beginning of the rise of these new technologies, many pundits worried about their effect on social relations. Soon we learned, thanks to the thorough work of the academic community researching human social behaviour, that these alarm calls were as well founded as those concerning the rise of horse manure on the streets of London some hundred years ago. Just as the changing technology did not affect that people had to get from A to B, it became clear that the rise of Internet as a social networking means does not necessarily mean that the nature of sociality changes.

Or does it? Maybe human sociality is more complicated than travel. There is some early evidence suggesting that using multi-channel ICT communication as the dominant form of initiating and maintaining romantic or kin or friendship bonds may affect the nature of these bonds. Is this true? We decided that this question merits a closer look.

In this satellite workshop of HBES 2014, we are asking:

  1. to what extent Internet affects human sociality rather than merely changing its manifestation;
  2. whether the nature of our societies changes as a consequence; and
  3. what the policy consequences are, if any.

Call for Papers:

We are calling for extended abstracts of existing research (maximum 1000 words, not counting the references) from the EINS community to participate at this workshop. Up to two selected submissions will get partial or full funding to participate at the workshop. The deadline for abstract submission is 15 March 2014. Please send the submissions to Tamas David-Barrett

Essay Competition

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the essay competition is Dr Charlotte Blease, Research Fellow in Cognitive Science at the School of Philosophy, University College Dublin. Download her paper now!

Time and Place:

The workshop will take place 9AM-12PM on Wednesday 30 July in the Cedro Room of HBES 2014 Conference Natal, Brazil. The workshop program will consist of two keynote speeches, followed by a round table discussion and Q&A.


Workshop keynote confirmed speakers:


Workshop committee chair:


The workshop is supported by the European Union’s FP7 EINS grant agreement No 288021.