Strangeness of twitter relations

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


In November 2009 a Swedish twitterer died in a car accident. Even though @Just_Tea wasn’t a celebrity, condolences and displays of public mourning stacked up from her followers and the Swedish blogosphere. However, there was also disapproving voices, criticizing the public displays of grief of someone whom few had met and even fewer could call friend. The criticism and the subsequent discussions on twitter and in blogs that followed @Just_Tea’s death circulated around the discussion whether you actually can know, or even claim to be friends with, someone you have never met in the real world.
Mediated relationships built on distances essentially turns the persons within the relationships into strangers. As relations through distance forms, people who see themselves as friends still maintain a certain notion of strangeness to each other. This Is analyzed through the concept of the stranger as proposed by Georg Simmel. The relationship to the Stranger builds on a combination of distance/proximity, while at the same time seeing both differences and similarities.
This paper investigates and discusses relations in a liquid modernity, where a globalised and mediated world brings the possibility to form friendships over great distances. Drawing on the concept of mediated quasi-interaction and parasocial relationships, this paper challenges and discusses the relationships, and friendships, which forms within a globalised mediated sphere. How can we understand friendships and relations in a world where a not insignificant amount of relations form over distances? Does the distance and the strangeness between people actually mean that something in how we perceive relations and friendships has already changed?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010
EventAnnual International Conference on Communication and Mass Media - Athens, Greece
Duration: 2010 May 17 → …


ConferenceAnnual International Conference on Communication and Mass Media
Period2010/05/17 → …

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Media and Communications


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