Social technologies and the ideology of connection
Speaker: Dr Zoetanya Sujon, Programme Director for the Communications and Media Department, London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK
In the transition to the 21st century, we have moved from a media and communications paradigm dominated by mass and broadcast media to one where networked and social technologies shape personal and public relationships. In this talk, Zoetanya Sujon draws from her forthcoming book, The Social Media Age, to share her view of the what this shift means for the infrastructures of everyday life, cultural patterns and economic systems. The aim of this work is twofold: to introduce a critical framework for making sense of social media as historically grounded technologies, and to push users past the seamless interfaces of social media.
Understanding social media means asking questions about society, culture and economy. What we find are dense connections between platform infrastructures and our experiences of the social. Indeed, a closer look unveils complex tensions between the materialities of networks and platform ideologies as they shape and shift social relations with often paradoxical and complex consequences. Sociality, like social media, is increasingly public and private, commercial and personal, hyperglobal and hyperlocal. The links between specific instances of social relations, like memes and selfies fit into the rise of datafication and dataveillance, as well as broader transformations in screen industries, social movements, intimacy and personal connection.
Dr Zoetanya Sujon is Programme Director for the Communications and Media department in London College of Communication (LCC), University of the Arts London. Before joining LCC in 2018, Zoetanya was a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at Regent’s University London and lecturer/Fellow in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she completed her PhD. Originally trained as a sociologist, Zoetanya draws from an interdisciplinary lens to address the relationships between new technologies and social life. Zoetanya has published in leading media journals such as New Media and Society, Social Media + Society, and the International Journal of Communication.