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Media prophylaxis: night modes and the politics of preventing harm

Mulvin, Dylan (2018) Media prophylaxis: night modes and the politics of preventing harm. Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 53 (2). pp. 175-202. ISSN 0894-8631

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This article develops the term "media prophylaxis" to analyze the ways technologies are applied to challenges of calibrating one's body with its environment and as defenses against endemic, human-made harms. In recent years, self-illuminated screens (like those of computers, phones, and tablets) have been identified by scientists, journalists, and concerned individuals as particularly pernicious sources of sleep-disrupting light. By tracing the history of circadian research, the effects of light on sleep patterns, and the recent appearance of software like "f.lux," Apple's "Night Shift," and "Twilight," this article shows how media-prophylactic technologies can individualize responsibility for preventing harm while simultaneously surfacing otherwise ignored forms of chronic suffering.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 University of Texas Press
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 05:40

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