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Digital Media

Transformations in Human Communication

Edited By Paul Messaris and Lee Humphreys

The age of digital media has given rise to a new social world. It is a world in which the transmission of information from the few to the many is steadily being supplanted by the multi-directional flow of facts, lies, and ideas. It is a world in which hundreds of millions of people are voluntarily depositing large amounts of personal details in publicly accessible databases. It is a world in which interpersonal relationships are increasingly being conducted in the virtual sphere. Above all, this is a world that seems to be veering off in unpredictable ways from the trends of the immediate past. This book is a probing examination of that world, and of the changes that it has ushered into our lives.

In more than thirty essays by a wide range of scholars, this must-have second edition examines the impact of digital media in six areas – information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, surveillance and privacy, and cross-cultural communication – and offers an invaluable guide for students and scholars alike. With one exception, all essays are completely new or revised for this volume.

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Chapter 16: Social TV and Depictions of Community on Social Media: Instagram and Eurovision Fandom (Tim Highfield)


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Social TV and Depictions of Community on Social Media

Instagram and Eurovision Fandom

Tim Highfield


Notions linking community and television on the Internet have often focused on audiences and fans, dynamics which have taken various forms as online platforms and technologies have developed (see Booth, 2010; Jenkins, 2006). Communities of interest emerged around particular texts or figures, whether focused on a single unofficial fan site, discussion boards and forums, or distributed across multiple sites linked as part of a designated community such as a web ring. Engagement with television (and other popular media) content was also encouraged through shared practices, bringing together creativity, humor, and critique. Fan fiction and fan art, for instance, have allowed audience members to provide their own interpretations (and desires) of themes and characters, the presentation of which may range from hand-drawn art to erotic fiction to animated GIFs and mash-ups, among others (see Booth, 2015). Cultures of audiencing online are also seen in the popularity and longevity of recap sites (Andrejevic, 2008), of live blogging, of engaging with content in a critically humorous way such as through snark (Haig, 2014). As online platforms have become increasingly popular means for watching this content, further practices have been encouraged: practices like binge-watching might not have started online, but have become popularized through the accessibility and shared experiences of watching television content on-demand through Netflix, Hulu, and others (see Jenner, 2015; Pittman...

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