"I'm an Addict" and Other Sensemaking Devices: A Discourse Analysis of Self-Reflections on Lived Experience of Social Media

Katrin Tiidenberg, Annette Markham, Gabriel Pereira, Mads Rehder, Ramona Dremljuga, Jannek K. Sommer, Meghan Dougherty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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, their rhetoric about social media use and its implications becomes more nuanced yet remains inherently contradictory. This reflects a dialectical struggle to make sense of their lived experiences and feelings. Our unique methodology for generating deeply self-reflexive, auto-ethnographic narrative accounts suggests a way for scholars to be able to understand the ongoing struggles for meaning that occur within the granularity of everyday reflections about our own social media use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society
Number of pages10
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date28. Jul 2017
Article number21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4847-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28. Jul 2017
Event8th International Conference on Social Media & Society - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 28. Jul 201730. Jul 2017
Conference number: 8

Conference

Conference8th International Conference on Social Media & Society
Number8
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period28/07/201730/07/2017

Keywords

  • Autoethnography
  • Discourse analysis
  • Sensemaking
  • Social media
  • Young people's social media use

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