Streams of fun and cringe: Talking about Snapchat as mediated affective practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSubjectivity. 2019, 12 (3), 228–246. 10.1057/s41286-019-00074-9
How do young people interpret and negotiate their sense of being affected in the context of social media use? Our study draws on recent theorizing that views affective practices as discursive, relational and imbued with power. We specifically address practices that users engage in as they pursue forms of digitally mediated emotional involvement when using Snapchat, an image-based social media application. Our data consist of focus group dialogues with Norwegian students aged 16–19, recruited from schools selected for socio-economic and multicultural diversity. Excerpts exemplify how Snapchat use is not only engagingly talked about, but also affects non-digital everyday interactions. The analysis illustrates how young people’s talk about Snapchat deploys various discursive objects that convey promises of happiness and well-being, and affords particular forms of subjectivity. Image-sharing practices, and how they are communicated and felt, are embedded in and reproduce social norms, yet also provide spaces of belonging.