A Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media

A Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media

by Tony D. Sampson


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Positing online users as 'sleepwalkers', Tony Sampson offers an original and compelling approach for understanding how social media platforms produce subjectivities.

Drawing on a wide range of theorists, including A.N. Whitehead and Gabriel Tarde, he provides tools to track his sleepwalker through the 'dark refrain of social media': a refrain that spreads through viral platform architectures with a staccato-like repetition of shock events, rumours, conspiracy, misinformation, big lies, search engine weaponization, data voids, populist strongmen, immune system failures, and far-right hate speech. Sampson's sleepwalker is not a pre-programmed smartphone junkie, but a conceptual personae intended to dodge capture by data doubles and lookalikes. Sleepwalkers are neither asleep nor wide awake; they are a liminal experimentation in collective mimicry and self-other relationality. Their purpose is to stir up a new kind of community that emerges from the potentialities of revolutionary contagion.

At a time in which social media is influencing more people than ever, A Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media is an important reference for students and scholars of media theory, digital media and social media.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781509537419
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/31/2020
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Media Culture and Communication at the University of East London.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Feeling Facts and Fakes
Chapter Two: On the Viral Spectra of Somnambulism
Coda: Christchurch; El Paso
Chapter Three: The Virality of Experience Capitalism
Segue: A Dark [Viral] Refrain
Chapter Four: Immunity, Community and Contagion
Chapter Five: Deeper Entanglements
Outro: Disrupting the Dark Refrain


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