LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

How people actually use social media

We at LIRNEasia have been more interested in the outcomes of new forms of communication, especially by those hitherto excluded, than on the modalities of communication. But that does not mean we’re uninterested. Why we post looks informative.

TO SOME, Facebook, Twitter and similar social-media platforms are the acme of communication—better, even, than face-to-face conversations, since more people can be involved. Others think of them more as acne, a rash that fosters narcissism, threatens privacy and reduces intelligent discourse to the exchange of flippant memes. They might even, these kinds of arguments go, be creating a generation of electronic addicts who are incapable of reflective, individual, original thought.

A topic ripe for anthropological study, then. And such a study, the “Why We Post” project, has just been published by nine anthropologists, led by Daniel Miller of University College, London.

Summary by Economist.

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