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John Hartley

In: The SAGE Handbook of Social Media

Chapter 1: Pushing Back: Social Media as an Evolutionary Phenomenon

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Pushing Back: Social Media as an Evolutionary Phenomenon
Pushing back: Social media as an evolutionary phenomenon
John Hartley

A universe comes into being when a space is severed into two. A unity is defined. The description, invention and manipulation of unities is at the base of all scientific inquiry. (Humberto Maturana and Fransisco Varela, 1980: 73)

Social media: Long story!

Taking the long-term view, ‘social media’ is a tautology. All media are social. All sociality is mediated. Pragmatically, the current arrangements known as ‘social media', which distinguish online media from other types of media entertainment and social networks from physical ones, are not geared to the long-term view. It may be that most readers who encounter this chapter are also focused on the here and now. However, the ...

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