Using social media and norm-breaking material as an empirical touchstone this thesis elaborates, investigates and explores the entangled relationships between humans and technology in social media settings. Guided by uncomfortable, emotional and bodily online sharing the thesis gives voice to stories that are seldom heard, by people whose lives are rarely spoken of. By exploring the performative entanglements of/with/through technology, design and human intent the overall aim is to offer a critical and new understanding of our online togetherness and posthuman becoming.
The conceptual framework throughout the thesis is based on posthuman theory and feminist technoscience, two closely connected theories providing a new onto-epistemological way of understanding the world’s becoming. The thesis should be seen as the product of an empirical practice of making theory about digital things, culture, humans and non-humans. By exploring diffraction and touch as not only theoretical standpoints but also hands-on methodology the thesis contributes to the development of new ways of doing research.
Important findings arising from the practice of diffraction and touch are Technoemotions – conceptually agents built on a posthuman understanding of how emotions are entangled between and within the phenomenon, becoming important agents in the apparatus creating the phenomenon. Four Technoemotions seem particularly prominent in the material: Trust, Truth, Time and Embodiment.
The thesis concludes by providing a discussion on critical alternatives for ethics, politics and power in relation to social media and the norms and norm-breaking practices most of us participate in. The responsibility and ability to respond are addressed, as well as social justice and hope for the future to come.