Mobile conversations in context: a post-digital perspective on identity and interaction: DiLCo Lecture Series 2022 (7 July) - Caroline Tagg - Universität Hamburg
Mobile conversations in context: a post-digital perspective on identity and interaction: DiLCo Lecture Series 2022 (7 July)
Much has been written about the potential of mobile mediated communication for enabling people to connect in new ways through building ‘connected presence’ (Licoppe 2004). In this talk, I adopt a ‘post-digital’ perspective to explore how people’s connections with others through mobile messaging are interactionally shaped in part by how mobile messaging fits into the rhythms of everyday lives alongside parallel encounters and activities both online and offline.
I draw on an innovative research project, Mobile conversations in context (MoCo), funded by the British Academy, which combines quantitative and interactional analysis of WhatsApp and other mobile messages with interviews and time-use diaries. Participants aged 35-76 were recruited through an online survey. The findings suggest that, for these participants, mobile messaging facilitates connections not straightforwardly through heightening co-presence but because of the distance afforded by mobile messaging, enabling people to purposefully select what they say, to whom, and when. This has parallels with the ‘Goldilocks effect’ identified by Miller (2016), whereby people use social media to keep people close, but not too close. Overall, the MoCo findings contribute new insights into how people harness mobile messaging to maintain relational connections in the course of everyday lives.
Caroline Tagg is a senior lecturer in applied linguistics at The Open University, UK. Her research into language and digital technologies rests on the understanding that digital communication practices are deeply embedded into individuals’ wider lives. She is author of Mobile Messaging and Resourcefulness: a post-digital ethnography (with Agnieszka Lyons, 2022) and Message and Medium: English language practices across old and new media (with Mel Evans, 2020) and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Discourse, Context & Media.
DiLCo Lecture Series 2022 aims to showcase cutting edge international research on digitally language and communication by both senior and younger researchers from across the world. We wish to present research that explores digital language and communication by drawing on key concepts and topics in socio-cultural linguistics, such as community, context, identity, mediated interaction, multimodality, and linguistic change. We particularly welcome presentations of innovative methods that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
DiLCo (Digital language variation in context) is a 3-year international research network initiated in 2021 at the University of Hamburg. The network brings together researchers from Europe and USA with expertise in computational, interactional, and ethnographic approaches to digital language and linguistics. It aims to provide a platform for the development of interdisciplinary ideas in digital language and communication research, and for early-career capacity building.