Skip to content

Making Sense of Our Digital Lives

My latest publication was more fun than usual to put together, as I collaborated with artists & illustrators to create a visual and more accessible way to understand social media theory. Thank you to Commonplace for inviting, sponsoring, hosting my Graphic Conceptual Glossary of the ways we are doing attention differently online as a result of influencer cultures.

The landscape of social media has changed rapidly over the last decade – Instagram turned 10 last year, TikTok is turning 5 next year, and Facebook recently rebranded to turn its focus to the virtual. As social media have become deeply embedded into our everyday lives, at times becoming indispensable for holding communities together and disseminating important messages during times of crises, their affordances and features have cultivated social cultural norms that augment the ways we relate to each other and ourselves.

In response, this graphic conceptual glossary draws on illustrations to demonstrate the new ways we are ‘doing’ attention differently on social media, based on the ethnographic scholarship of digital anthropologist A/Prof Crystal Abidin that focuses on Influencer cultures and internet celebrity especially in the Asia Pacific region. We turn to Influencers as prolific and important stakeholders who often gatekeep and shape attention flows online, providing nuance and clarity around many of the practices that everyday users have been conditioned to learn on platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Read here: Making Sense of Our Digital Lives A graphic conceptual glossary of the new ways attention is being baited, generated, and played with online by influencers.