Social Media Use and Civil Society: From Everyday Information Behaviours to Clickable Solidarity

Bhuva Narayan


Abstract

Digital social media has, in many ways, transformed the way people create, maintain, and sustain their social information networks, and has also influenced their information-related behaviours such as searching, seeking, finding and use of information. This is especially true in technologically-mediated environments. In many ways, social media is the contemporary incarnation of the Internet itself. It is a complex information-and-communication environment, very much analogous to physical environments, but consisting of symbolic matter rather than physical matter. All social situations are information environments and social media is no different. This paper is an inter-disciplinary literature-review essay that examines the social media phenomenon using the lens of selected theories in information science and allied disciplines such as communication and media ecology with a specific focus toward its possible role in civil society using the conceptual framework of spatial metaphors drawn from the study of traditional physical environments.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v5i3.3488

Keywords

Social media, civil society, digital cosmopolitanism, cyberspace, information behaviour

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