All the Web’s a Stage: The Effects of Design and Modality on Youth Performances of Identity

Dyer, Harry T. (2015) All the Web’s a Stage: The Effects of Design and Modality on Youth Performances of Identity. In: Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth . Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 213-242. ISBN 978-1-78560-265-8

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Abstract

Purpose: Online Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly popular in the last decade. Each SNS varies somewhat, with different forms of expression, communication and customization. Different sites may have different priorities, methods of interacting, social features and definitions of what it means to be ‘social’ on their sites. Methodology/approach: This paper reports on 2 months of exploratory observations and interviews with participants using two of the most popular SNSs; Facebook.com and Twitter.com. Paying attention to the modal nuances of the sites and their effect on social interaction and identity portrayal, the focus of analysis is upon how these two sites are interacted with as ‘stages’ for identity performances, and how the varying aspects of design and modality on these interactive sites can result in different multimodal identity performances and social interactions. Findings: Data revealed that youth are adeptly able to negotiate the different modal options presented to them online, yet the temporal aspects presented by the design of the site, the differing definitions and priorities in the framing of identity presented by the SNSs, and the modal choices present across the two sites resulted in markedly differing presentations of identity to markedly differing audiences. Originality/value: This research demonstrates the impact of modality and design on how we act and interact, and highlights that as Digital Sociologists and Researchers, we should be careful not to treat all Online SNSs the same, but pay attention to the plethora of nuances these sites offer as stages for identity performances.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital sociology,online identity
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2017 23:14
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 11:06
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/62158
DOI: 10.1108/S1537-466120150000019007

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