Digital Intimate Publics & Social Media

992FA8C3-4237-4E56-A38F-B00D30415554We’ve got a new edited book out, called Digital Intimate Publics and Social Media. A little taste from our introduction…

From public grief and trauma gone viral on YouTube, to hook-up and dating apps like Grindr and Tinder, to daily documentations on Facebook of meals, coffees, dreams, births, deaths, new relationships, breakups, and much more, intimate lives are being played out, recorded, commodified, and constituted through social media. Even when we are physically alone or isolated, affect travels through digital infrastructures: fibre and copper, satellites, wifi signals, laptops, smartphones, and fingertips. Digital intimacies resonate, console, arouse, invite, surprise, compel, distract, and disappoint.

This book came from the Digital Intimacies symposia which have been running for four years now in Australia, bringing together key scholars in digital media research. The first two were at UQ, and it’s largely from these first two symposia that the chapters in this book were drawn.

This is the fourth edited collection I’ve been involved in editing now, and while each of them are special to me, I think this is the one I’m most proud of. Working with the truly impressive, kind, and smart Amy Dobson and Nic Carah on this project over the years has been a deeply satisfying and rewarding thread in my career – from the symposia to the book to collaborative writing to grant applications. The many contributors to this book (detailed in the TOC below) are people who I’ve read, admired, gone on to meet at conferences, and some I’m even now lucky enough to call friends. A fiercely intelligent squad who really are at the cutting edge of critical scholarship looking at the impact of digital and social media on our lives. Here is the line-up:

Digital Intimate Publics & Social Media – Table of Contents
Edited by Amy Dobson, Brady Robards, and Nicholas Carah

Amy Dobson, Brady Robards, & Nicholas Carah


Chapter 1 – Digital Intimate Publics & Social Media: towards theorising public lives on private platforms
Amy Dobson, Nicholas Carah & Brady Robards

Chapter 2 – Publicising privacy, weaponising publicity: The dialectic of online abuse on social media
Michael Salter

Chapter 3 – Software Intimacies: Social Media and the Unbearablilty of Death
Grant Bollmer

Chapter 4 – Snapshots of Afterlife: The cultural intimacies of posthumous camera phone practices
Larissa Hjorth

Chapter 5 – Remembering through Facebook: Mediated memory and intimate digital traces
Brady Robards, Sian Lincoln, Benjamin C. Pinkard, and Jane Harris

Chapter 6 – Sexting, Intimate and Sexual Media Practices and Social Justice
Amy Dobson


Chapter 7 – Digital Masculine Disruptions: Intimate Webcam Forums and the Challenge to Heterosexual Normativities
Rob Cover

Chapter 8 – “This dapper hotty is working that tweed look”: Extending Workplace Affects on TubeCrush
Adrienne Evans and Sarah Riley

Chapter 9 – Effervescence, resonance and emotive practice on social media: Public expressions of heartbreak among young Filipino Twitter user
Jozon A. Lorenzana

Chapter 10 – ‘We’re all gonna make it brah’: Homosocial relations, vulnerability and intimacy in an online bodybuilding community
Mair Underwood

Chapter 11 – ‘It’s nice to see you’re not the only one with kinks’: Presenting Intimate Privates in Intimate Publics on Tumblr
Matthew Hart

Chapter 12 – Between firefighting and flaming: collective and personal Trans* and gender-diverse Social Media
Son Vivienne


Chapter 13 – “There are literally no rules when it comes to these things”: ethical practice and the use of dating/hook-up apps
Paul Byron and Kath Albury

Chapter 14 – Speaking to the Other: Digital Intimate Publics and Gamergate
Amanda Eliot

Chapter 15 – Ambivalent Intimacies: Entangled Pains and Gains Through Facebook Use in Transnational Family Life
Earvin Charles Cabalquinto

Chapter 16 – Oversharing is the norm
Jenny Kennedy

Chapter 17 – Archives of Sadness: sharing bereavement and generating emotional exchange between strangers on YouTube
Margaret Gibson and Golie Talaie

Please do consider asking your library to buy the book, or contact us or the authors if you don’t have institutional access:


We were fortunate last week to have the very impressive and generous Prof Jessica Ringrose launch the book at the fourth Digital Intimacies symposium, held in Perth at Curtin University, and convened by Amy Dobson and Tama Leaver. Here are some snaps from the launch. Thanks again to everyone involved! We hope you find the book useful and stimulating.

_MG_6902.jpgFrom left to right, Earvin Charles Cabalquinto, myself, Amy Dobson, Paul Byron, and Son Vivenne, courtesy of T.J. Thomson