Young people’s sharing of sexualized digital imagery: Processes of acceleration in human-technology interactions.

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The ubiquity of smartphones and social media has introduced new ways of being connected and engaged in digitally mediated spaces. This includes the possibility of exchanging privately produced sexually charged imagery through digital media – a practice known as ‘sexting’. Scholars have described how the possibility of taking and sharing sexually charged images and videos immediately, effortlessly and at a distance can lead to an ‘accelerated process of intimacy’. However, the interconnectedness and interoperability of the digital devices on which the imagery is produced, enables it to be non-consensually distributed to a wider online audience. Thus, digital technologies not only facilitate such sharing of consensual and non-consensual images and videos, but in many ways seem to elicit the acceleration of such practices. In this paper, we explore how young people’s practices of sharing sexualized digital imagery accelerate. Drawing on interviews with young people aged 16-21 and professionals, we analyze how the these practices are accelerated through the interaction of digital media affordances (e.g. spreadability, persistence) and other forces – including relationships between the people involved, affective encounters, desires of belonging and participating with peers, disinhibition effects, identity constructions and disruptions of time and space. We argue that practices of sharing sexualized digital imagery illustrate how psychological and relational phenomena are accelerated by new forms of human-technology interaction, and that this requires the development of psychological concepts that can adequately capture the processes and dynamics involved in these practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year19 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019
EventInternational Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP), Copenhagen 2019: Measured Lives - Danish School of Education, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Aug 201923 Aug 2019
Conference number: 17
http://conferences.au.dk/istp2019/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP), Copenhagen 2019
Number17
LocationDanish School of Education
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period19/08/201923/08/2019
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