A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media
A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media is now in production with Polity. It will be published in the UK in early July 2020 and in the US in August.
Below is the blurb, contents and a collection of wonderful matter-flow illustrations and diagrams the artist Mikey B Georgeson produced for the book and our related collaboration at the Society for the Study of Affect Summer School in Lancaster PA this year. They will become part of an exhibit planned to coincide with the book’s launch in the summer.
The Blurb for A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media
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.
1 Feeling Facts and Fakes
2 On the Viral Spectra of Somnambulism
Coda Christchurch; El Paso
3 The Virality of Experience Capitalism
Segue A Dark [Viral] Refrain
4 Immunity, Community and Contagion
5 Deeper Entanglements
Outro Disrupting the Dark Refrain
Illustrations and Diagrams