THE NAVIGATION OF BOUNDARIES IN ONLINE SOCIAL SPACES

Kelly Quinn

Abstract


Social media blur everyday distinctions between what is public and private, online and offline, and professional and personal, creating an imaginary of a boundary-free digital world. This paper deconstructs such an image, and explores the boundary work that takes place with using digital social spaces. By examining boundary placement processes and boundary navigation through in-depth, face-to-face interviews, this study attempts to provide a description of boundary work in the emerging social media environment. In doing so, it highlights the important function that connection and disclosure through social media platforms play in social classification processes, and underscores ways in which these technologies have influenced everyday life.

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