For many of us, sharing photos and videos online is the main appeal of social media. Hence, Chapter 5 of The Psychology of Social Media focusses on why we like to do this, and what we gain from doing so.
Beginning with the Snappening incident, where Snapchat photos and videos, far from disappearing once viewed, were leaked on the internet. This is interpreted in relation to the concept of presence, or the illusion whereby a mediated experience does not feel mediated. Hence understanding shared media as a kind of psychological travel, this chapter next reports on Instagram users sharing location data with their holiday photographs.
Additionally, this chapter considers how users of two live video streaming services attempted to authentically develop their identities by providing their audiences with unedited access to their lives. However, this shown to be a precarious practice, as Meerkat was abruptly discontinued when Periscope was bought by Twitter.
Other hazards of building social capital on social media discussed include sharing self-portrait photographs – or selfies – and the onerous amount of labour involved, which seems prohibitive, even for the highly attractive.
Finally, Chapter 5 examines the collective labour of the Harlem Shake videos, and the commercial aspects of these kind of memes that most of us know nothing about.
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