Friday, 30 May 2014

Social Media and Health Seminar (11/June)

Social Media and Health Seminar

Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites: Implications for Health, Wellbeing and Beyond

Seminar presenter: Visiting Honorary Professor Ben Light, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Wednesday 11th June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Mary Seacole Building, Room 1.36, University of Salford

"Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected."

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder Facebook

The quote above is the opening line of Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to potential investors prior to Facebook’s floatation on the US stock market in 2012. In the letter Zuckerberg makes an impassioned plea for the creation of infrastructure that can facilitate the maximisation of the raw tools we have at hand to share, think, feel and do with whomever we want to. The maximisation of the infrastructure he argues is necessary because there is a ‘huge need and huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected’. Connection above anything else is what should be valued according to Zuckerberg, and he is not alone in this view. In contrast, this study concerns how we disconnect with Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook. However, I am not simply referring to issues of non-use in relation to those of use. I am concerned with disconnection as something that we do in conjunction with connection. For example, we might engage in the deletion of relationships in a given SNS but keep others in tact or we might use backchannels to create spaces within which we can interact with selected individuals or groups within our broader connected networks. Disconnection is pervasive in our use of SNSs and I argue for the need to have a nuanced understanding of this. Analyses of disconnection need to go beyond discussions of use and non-use and to encompass understandings of how we make SNSs work for us, or not, on a daily basis in terms of their diversity and mutability. Drawing upon qualitative interviews, and with a focus on health and well being issues, a theory of disconnective practice as related to SNSs is put forward. This theory incorporates attention to: geographies of disconnection; disconnectors; modes of disconnection; disconnective power; and the ethics of disconnection.

All University staff and PGR students are welcome to attend.

To register your interest in attending this free event, please go to this link: in order for us to provide appropriate refreshments.

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