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A Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media. Edition No. 1

  • Book
  • 208 Pages
  • July 2020
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 5225533
Positing online users as 'sleepwalkers', Tony Sampson offers an original and compelling approach for understanding how social media platforms produce subjectivities.

Drawing on a wide range of theorists, including A.N. Whitehead and Gabriel Tarde, he provides tools to track his sleepwalker through the 'dark refrain of social media': a refrain that spreads through viral platform architectures with a staccato-like repetition of shock events, rumours, conspiracy, misinformation, big lies, search engine weaponization, data voids, populist strongmen, immune system failures, and far-right hate speech. Sampson's sleepwalker is not a pre-programmed smartphone junkie, but a conceptual personae intended to dodge capture by data doubles and lookalikes. Sleepwalkers are neither asleep nor wide awake; they are a liminal experimentation in collective mimicry and self-other relationality. Their purpose is to stir up a new kind of community that emerges from the potentialities of revolutionary contagion. 

At a time in which social media is influencing more people than ever, A Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media is an important reference for students and scholars of media theory, digital media and social media.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Feeling Facts and Fakes 
Chapter Two: On the Viral Spectra of Somnambulism 
Coda: Christchurch; El Paso 
Chapter Three: The Virality of Experience Capitalism 
Segue: A Dark [Viral] Refrain 
Chapter Four: Immunity, Community and Contagion 
Chapter Five: Deeper Entanglements 
Outro: Disrupting the Dark Refrain 



Tony D. Sampson