Tagged: social media

The Perpetually Angry Activist: Emotions and Social Change in News Media

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/anger-angry-bad-isolated-dangerous-18615/   News coverage of protests and the activists which engage in them forms into patterns; media tends to highlight the extreme, irrational, angry, and violent segments of collective action (Corrigall-Brown and Wilkes 2012; Winter and Klaehn 2005). We can turn to the recent example of the Black Lives Matter movement shown shouting down presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Why does the nature of news media depictions of activists’ emotional expressions matter? Evoking the wrong emotion in the public can alienate...

I Spoke Up: Politics and Social Media in Tory Britain

The issue of politics and social media is a contentious one. I have had discussions with lifelong friends where they have made it very clear that, in their view, social media should be just that, social. For them there is no place for politics in online platforms such as Facebook but I have to disagree. Over the years that I have had a Facebook account I have accrued over 600 ‘friends.’ I know that just a handful of them are...

Electioneering, Facebook-style.

What do you think was the most-discussed topic on Facebook in the UK last year? The World Cup? Cat videos? Ice buckets? The Kardashians? Sociology Lens?… Amazingly, it’s none of those. It was, according to someone who ought to know, Elizabeth Linder – Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist for Europe – Politics.

Digital witnesses: memory Vs experience.

I have recently had the double-privilege of going to Stonehenge to witness the sunrise on summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and then onto Glastonbury festival, to witness er… lots of live music and people dancing around in mud. I’ve been to Glastonbury many times before but Stonehenge was my first time. As you can see, I captured some of it on my camera-phone, and naturally I wasn’t the only one. The photo above prompted a friend of mine...

I See the Target: Social Media and the Accountability of Military Technology

In a recent article, Brad Allenby and Carolyn Mattick argue that the ‘rule book’ of international warfare needs to be rewritten to include of the use of new technologies, in particular drones.[1] Drones sit in an ambiguous legal space because they are unmanned aerial vehicles that are often used to fly in a restricted airspace. Compounding this problem is that the use of drones is largely undocumented as a matter of national secrecy. Nevertheless another layer of technology, social media,...

College Students and Social Media: Making Meaning of Everyday Activities in the Classroom…

When Harrisburg University in Harrisburg, PA attempted a week-long social media “blackout” in September 2010, national news media swarmed the campus. A “smartly dressed correspondent from NPR stalk[ed] the staircase,” the Chronicle of Higher Education reported, and as soon as the Chronicle itself spirited away some students for an exclusive interview, a reporter from the Associated Press came barging in. “Oh no—not another one,” one student cried out. Another, weary, explained with a sigh that he had just finished begging...

Engaging Sociologically with Students’ Facebook Usage

It’s the middle of class. Looking out into the classroom, a dim light reflects on students’ faces as they stare or type into the devices in front of them.  Walking up and down the aisles, blue-tinted Facebook pages on the students’ screens are usually the source of the reflected light. While such students might seem withdrawn from the class, this familiar scene holds a potential goldmine of sociological exploration and examples. If these students are already intently interested in, or...

Facebook Places and the Augmentation of Reality

You probably have heard about Facebook Places, a feature that brings the site up to speed with other location-sharing services like Foursquare and Gowalla that allow users to document where they are, as well as potentially who they are with and other comments about that location. The term “augmented reality” is often used to describe the layering of digital information onto the physical world [examples of where it is now, and where it might be going]. However, I have argued...

Social Media: Have We Built a Society without Closets?

Today, we are all familiar with with what it means to be closeted. In fact, coming out has become among our most widely recognized cultural narratives. No doubt, large swaths of the American landscape still present environments hostile to sexual preferences that deviate from prevailing hetero-patriarchical norms, but progressive circles, and increasingly, society writ large, have embraced the belief that coming out (i.e., rending oneself visible) is the road to empowerment. If this is true, the queer community should be...

Social Media Fear-Baiting: The Immortality of Digital Content

The New York Times recently ran a story about how “The Web Means the End of Forgetting.” It describes a digital age in which our careless mass exhibitionism creates digital documents that will live on forever. The article is chock full of scary stories about how ill-advised status updates can ruin your future life. These sorts of scare-tactic stories serve a purpose: they provide caution and give pause regarding how we craft our digital personas. Those most vulnerable should be...

Facebook Fatigue and Privacy Panic: Has the Golden Age of Social Media Ended?

For years, we have been deluged with stories about the dangers of online social media.  But in the last several months, a new kind of story has suddenly swept the mainstream media and the blogosphere alike.  This new type of story highlights burgeoning discontent amongst the user-base of social media sites and, at least implicitly, questions whether mass exhibitionism on social media is just a faddish blip on the cultural radar. For example, recent articles discuss how high school students...

Social Media: Documentation as Stratification

The new norms of exhibitionism and copious self-documentation have been regular talking points on Sociology Lens over the past year.  Consider Nathan Jurgenson’s posts, our digital culture of narcissism and facebook, youtube, twitter: mass exhibitionism online, as well as my own recent post, The Queer Politics of Chatroulette. It now seems truer than ever for many social media users (particularly, teenagers and young adults) that “If you’re not on MySpace [and/or other social media sites], you don’t exist.” Moreover, the...

The DeMcDonaldization of the Internet

On this blog, I typically discuss the intersection of social theory and the changing nature of the Internet (e.g., using Marx, Bourdieu, Goffman, Bauman, DeBord and so on). In a chapter of the new third edition of the McDonaldization Reader edited by George Ritzer, I argue that what we are seeing is a general trend towards the deMcDonaldization of the Internet. The shift from a top-down centrally conceived and controlled “Web 1.0” to a more user-generated and social “Web 2.0”...

the iPad favors passive consumers not active prosumers

by nathan jurgenson I’ve written many posts on this blog about the implosion of the spheres of production and consumption indicating the rise of prosumption. This trend has exploded online with the rise of user-generated content. We both produce and consume the content on Facebook, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube and so on. And it is from this lens that I describe Apple’s latest creation announced yesterday: the iPad. The observation I want to make is that the iPad is not indicative...

Where's the Money in Prosumption: Predictions for 2010

by pj.rey A recent article in the New York Times, “Experts Predict 2010 the Year for Social Media ROI” summarizes a Trendspotting.com report entitled “TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Social Media Influencers – Trend Predictions in 140 Characters.”  The Trendspotting.com post identifies six trends to look out for in social media over the coming year: “Mobile, Location, Transparency, Measurement, ROI, [and] Privacy.”  The Times article focuses, particularly, on return on investment.  The articles reports three strategies for garnering profit from user-generated content (i.e.,...