How young users deal with multiple platforms: The role of meaning-making in social media repertoires

Pablo J. Boczkowski*, Mora Matassi, Eugenia Mitchelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper draws upon 50 interviews and a survey (N = 700) to understand how young people in Argentina manage the proliferation of social media platforms in their everyday lives. Applying work on repertoires, niche theory, polymedia, and media ideologies, we explore how users’ practices are shaped by constellations of meaning attributed to each platform. We find that WhatsApp is a multifaceted communication domain; Facebook is a space for displaying the socially-acceptable self; Instagram is an environment for stylized self-presentation; Twitter is a venue for information and informality; and Snapchat is a place for spontaneous and ludic connections. These constellations are shaped socially and comparatively, and are relatively autonomous from technical affordances. We reflect on the relationship between users’ agency and the structures where it is enacted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Latin America
  • Media repertoires
  • Media use
  • Platforms
  • Social media
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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