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Conceptualizing ‘Use’ in Social Media Studies

Conference paper
Authors Beata Jungselius
Alexandra Weilenmann
Published in SMSociety '18 Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series
ISBN 978-1-4503-6334-1
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1145/3217804.3217938
Keywords Ethnography, Mobile phones, Social media, Use
Subject categories Human Aspects of ICT

Abstract

In this work-in-progress paper, we draw upon previous work and our own ongoing studies of the practices surrounding social media to discuss the conceptualization of social media use. We ask “what is social media use?”, and discuss how very different levels of engagement, ranging from active involvement with producing or consuming social media to more passive ways of monitoring or planning social media activities, tend to be summarized under the general notion of “social media use”. Our informants orient to social media activities even when they are not actively engaged with their phones. As a consequence, we argue that there is a problem of using time to define or measure social media use. In a “permanently online, permanently connected” world, we need to move beyond such ways of conceptualizing how people live with technology.

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