Social media platforms have captured the attention and imagination of many millions of people, enabling their users to develop and display their creativity, to empathize with others, and to find connection, communication and communion. But they are also surveillance systems through which those users become complicit in their own commercial exploitation. In this accessible book, Graham Meikle explores the tensions between these two aspects of social media.
From Facebook and Twitter to Reddit and YouTube, Meikle examines social media as industries and as central sites for understanding the cultural politics of everyday life. Building on the new forms of communication and citizenship brought about by these platforms, he analyzes the meanings of sharing and privacy, internet memes, remix cultures and citizen journalism. Throughout, Social Media engages with questions of visibility, performance, platforms and users, and demonstrates how networked digital media are adopted and adapted in an environment built around the convergence of personal and public communication.
"Engaging, sharp, and clairvoyant, Social Media: Communication, Sharing, and Visibility explains how social media enable connection, expression and awareness in everyday life, in ways that are both mundane and significant. A compelling read and a rigorous overview of what the social stands for, in social media."
-Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois at Chicago
"As an author of three other media books, an editor of two mass communication publications, and a longtime media professor, Dr. Graham Meikle certainly has the authority to speak on the topic of social media, and his expertise and vast knowledge base are apparent on each page of the book. In all, Meikle’s book is informative and engaging. Although primarily targeted to academics, this book has implications for scholars and practitioners alike."
-Millie Harrison, The University of Texas at Austin, in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Introduction 1. What are social media? 2. The sharing industry 3. Remix cultures 4. Convergence and the limits of citizen journalism 5. TMI 6. Distributed citizenship