7.1 Looking forward

As I said in chapter 1, social researchers are in the process of making a transition like that from photography to cinematography. In this book, we’ve seen how researchers have started using the capabilities of the digital age to observe behavior (chapter 2), ask questions (chapter 3), run experiments (chapter 4), and collaborate (chapter 5) in ways that were simply impossible in the recent past. Researchers who take advantage of these opportunities will also have to confront difficult, ambiguous ethical decisions (chapter 6). In this last chapter, I’d like to highlight three themes that run through these chapters and that will be important for the future of social research.