2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Sunday, July 30 • 15:31 - 17:00
“I’m An Addict” And Other Sensemaking Devices: A Discourse Analysis Of Self-Reflections On Lived Experience Of Social Media [FULL]

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Authors: Katrin Tiidenberg, Annette N Markham, Gabriel O Pereira, Mads M Rehder, Jannek K Sommer, Ramona-Riin Dremljuga and Meghan Dougherty

Abstract: How do young people make sense of their social media experiences, which rhetoric do they use, which grand narratives of technology and social media do they rely on? Based on discourse analysis of approximately 500 pages of written data and 390 minutes of video (generated by 50 college students aged 18 - 30 between 2014 - 2016) this article explores how young people negotiate their own experience and existing discourses about social media. Our analysis shows that young people rely heavily on canonic binaries from utopian and dystopian interpretations of networked technologies to apply labels to themselves, others, and social media in general. As they are prompted to reflect on their experience, they begin to add nuanced yet inherently contradictory rhetoric of social media use and its implications. This reflects a dialectical struggle to make sense of their lived experiences and feelings against dominant normative discourses. Our unique methodology for generating deeply self-reflexive, auto-ethnographic narrative accounts suggests a way for scholars to combine micro-sociological tools with auto-ethnographic approaches to understand the ongoing struggles for meaning that occur within the granularity of everyday reflections about our own social media use.

Sunday July 30, 2017 15:31 - 17:00 EDT
TRS 1-077- 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C19