Principal investigator: Dr Marko SKORIC (Department of Media and Communication)
The emergence of social media has motivated communication scholars to examine the impact of what appeared to be more accessible, open, and egalitarian communication technology platforms. This paper takes a closer look at two widely used and closely linked concepts in social media scholarship—affordances and context collapse—and critically assesses their value for future research. It is suggested that the concept of affordances needs additional explication and amendments to better fit the needs of social media scholarship. Context collapse, on the other hand, no longer accurately captures the present-day social media experience of most users, although it likely reflected the early stages of social network site (SNS) use. Instead of collapsing, social context is being actively (re)created by users today who leverage on a broad repertoire of affordances offering disconnection, filtering, privacy, and ephemerality, indicating a broader trend of context relapse.
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