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Metaphors of Internet

Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity


Edited By Annette N. Markham and Katrin Tiidenberg

What happens when the internet is absorbed into everyday life? How do we make sense of something that is invisible but still so central? A group of digital culture experts address these questions in Metaphors of Internet: Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity.

Twenty years ago, the internet was imagined as standing apart from humans. Metaphorically it was a frontier to explore, a virtual world to experiment in, an ultra-high-speed information superhighway. Many popular metaphors have fallen out of use, while new ones arise all the time. Today we speak of data lakes, clouds and AI. The essays and artwork in this book evoke the mundane, the visceral, and the transformative potential of the internet by exploring the currently dominant metaphors. Together they tell a story of kaleidoscopic diversity of how we experience the internet, offering a richly textured glimpse of how the internet has both disappeared and at the same time, has fundamentally transformed everyday social customs, work, and life, death, politics, and embodiment.

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About the Authors


Crystal Abidin, PhD, Senior Research Fellow & ARC DECRA Fellow in Internet Studies and Research Fellow at Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), Curtin University, Australia,,

Crystal is an anthropologist of vernacular internet cultures, particularly young people’s relationships with internet celebrity, self-curation, and vulnerability. Her books include Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (2018, Emerald Publishing), Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame (co-edited with Megan Lindsay Brown, 2018, Emerald Publishing), Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures (co-authored with Tama Leaver and Tim Highfield, 2019, Polity Press), and Mediated Interfaces: The Body on Social Media (co-edited with Katie Warfield and Carolina Cambre, 2020, Bloomsbury Academic).

Andee Baker, PhD Associate Professor Emerita of Sociology at the Ohio University, Lancaster Campus, USA,

Andee is retired from teaching sociology, currently writing for both academic audiences and general readers. Her research on 89 couples published in Double Click (Hampton Press, 2005) was an empirical, academic book on couples who first met online and then in person. Andee also wrote You Get What You Need (Miniver Press, 2014) about fans of The Rolling Stones, online and offline, and ←261 | 262→and is finishing a memoir on her relationships. Andee served on the board of the Association for Internet Researchers and on its Ethics Committee.

xtine burrough, MFA, Artist, Professor, School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication, University of Texas at Dallas, USA,

xtine burrough is...

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