Automated Self-Portraits: How Social Media Craft the Narratives of Our Lives

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Theories of Social Media

Presentation Title:

  • Automated Self-Portraits: How Social Media Craft the Narratives of Our Lives

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • This paper discusses the ways in which social media help us craft the narratives of our lives. Many discussions of social media look at self-presentation and the construction of identity on social network sites in particular and the Internet in general. This article switches the focus from the moment of self-construction and instead looks at ways in which social media represent our lives by filtering the data we feed into them through templates and displaying simplified patterns, visualisations and narratives back to us. The paper argues that social media helps users to see themselves by taking their raw data and re-presenting it in structured form, and gives examples of different ways in which this data is presented.

    I will discuss the different kinds of patterns social media uses when re-presenting our data: geographic (geosocial services such as Gowalla and Foursquare, but also trip organisers like Dopplr and Tripit, workout trackers like Endomundo, and GPS-based photo organisation), temporal (Facebook or Twitter statuses, time-lapse videos compressing photos taken daily over years such as from Dailybooth, habit trackers such as Trixietracker, Moodlog, Bedposted), social (Facebook Friend Visualiser, blog mappers) or semantic (word clouds, Ravelry).

Venue(s):


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