A Digital Ethnography: How People Communicate with Emoji on Social Media
Coupled with the development of the virtual world, there has been an increasing demand for semantic yet expressive communication on the Internet. The strong uptake of emoji in recent years is indicative of such a trend. This essay aims to propose a digital ethnography investigating the deployment of emoji on social media. The essay’s first section will explain interests developed for the topic, while the second part will cover the research project’s methods and ethical considerations, as well as an approach to present the project’s final report.
In the Autumn semester last year, I met my good friend – M.A through her project about the language barriers that Vietnamese students face while studying university at Wollongong. I remember responding to her survey online and felt very related to it. Then, I got an invitation to participate in M.A’s focus group for this project. I could not attend the session because of the clash in my schedule, yet I still wanted to contribute something so I sent an email telling her my experience with language in Australia.
How the digital devices – with smaller screen and simpler equipment – can win audience over the cinema? To compare these types of watching experience, we need to base on several certain aspects, as both digital devices and cinema have their own unique traits. The conceptual framework of time geography by the Swedish geographer – Torsten Hagerstrand, which is a sophisticated tool for analysing individual movement in space and time (Neutens, Witlox & Demaeyer 2007, p.335) can apply to this case between cinema and TV. Hagerstrand’s work was first introduced in the late 1960s with primary study in the geography field, yet its concept has also been used to explain in other areas. According to this concept, there are three types of constraints that limit individuals in their daily activities: capability constrains, coupling constraints and authority constraints.
Technology today has redefined how human communicate. Instead of face-to-face interaction, young generations prefer a more distant way of communicating with the help of technology. While some believe it supports the communication process in terms of time and space, the rest reckon that technology degrades the values of meaningful communication by isolating individuals for machine-dependence. In this case, I personally agree with the latter idea regarding how technology has cost our communication.
I express much less things online now compared to the very first days I started using Facebook. It has been ages since the last time I wrote something on my wall; and if there is one, it must be just the caption of a photo I took with some friends that I might upload to make my Facebook page looks less like a clone account. But that does not mean I do not use Facebook very often. Indeed, I make less content, yet spend no less time than before on Facebook.