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Absentmindedly scrolling through nothing: liveness and compulsory continuous connectedness in social media

Lupinacci, Ludmila (2020) Absentmindedly scrolling through nothing: liveness and compulsory continuous connectedness in social media. Media, Culture and Society. ISSN 0163-4437

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0163443720939454

Abstract

Social media fuel a sense of unsettledness to encourage uninterrupted connectivity and generate quantifiable engagement. This article is concerned with the habitual, naturalized character acquired by these platforms and with how this is paradoxically constructed by prompting a permanent state of anticipation. The aim here is to explore, with a phenomenological sensibility, the experiences that emerge in settings of continuous connectedness from the perspective of the people who use these technologies in the context of everyday life – that is, the ‘users’. Theoretically, the entry point is to revisit the claim of liveness – and its shifting relations with issues of sequential flow and eventfulness – and to position it as a central resource in this process, in which users are deliberately encouraged to expect the unexpected even in ‘non-eventful’ situations. Drawing from the thematic analysis of data collected through the diary-interview method with people who live in London and use a range of social media, I examine both how this urge of continuous connectedness operates and the ambivalent experiences it generates. The findings were categorized into five themes: excitement, anxiety, reassurance, fatigue, and responsibility.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/mcs
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 11:09
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 02:59
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106600

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