Context the WeChat use in dynamic Internet Era of China: Super App or Super Disruption

All Abstracts > Context the WeChat use in dynamic Internet Era of China: Super App or Super Disruption

Context the WeChat use in dynamic Internet Era of China: Super App or Super Disruption

Authors | Affiliation:
Ying Huang | Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication ; Weishan Miao | Institute of Journalism and Communication, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Presenting at:
Panel 3D | Algorithmic imagination of social media


Abstract:

This article examines the emerging phenomenon of the use/non-use of WeChat Moments. Based on semi-structured interviews with 21 users who used Moments for at least 6 months and voluntarily discontinued their use of the feature, this article detects the complicated dynamics of the use, non-use, and re-use of Moments, exploring the implicit micro-behavioral process of social media practice and elaborating a new nuanced use pattern specifically for his/her own.

The authors claim that on a micro-sociotechnical perspective, the volitional disconnection is the indication of the empowerment and individual agency. Countering the purported hyper-centrality of WeChat, we discern a periodic loop of the ‘use, nonuse, and re-use’ of Moments, suggesting that people suspend their use of Moments invisibly and periodically as a means to ‘re-domesticate’ technologies. Through the prism of the domestication approach, we argue that the re-domestication of Moments is a “reboot” of the whole process of domestication through four key stages, namely of re-appropriation, re-objection, re-incorporation, and re-conversion. Re-domestication is a process that as a mechanism of re-tidying up their life,re-allocating their time management, and re-gain concentration, which is mutual re-production of meaning, routines and rituals in their everyday life under the social context of constant availability and hyper-connectivity being taken-for-granted-ness.


About the authors

Ying Huang

Email: huangyingying@pku.edu.cn

Ying Huang (PhD, Peking University) is a lecturer at School of Journalism and Publishing,
Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication. Her research interests include new media
and society, mobile communication and social media use.

Weishan Miao (Corresponding author)

Email: weishanmiao@gmail.com

Weishan Miao (PhD, Tsinghua University) is an assistant professor at the Institute of
Journalism and Communication, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China. He is also
the Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows in Liberal Arts, Southern University of Science and
Technology, China. His research interests include internet governance, media policy, user
experience and ICT industry.

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