Introduction published in:Understanding Chinese Social Media
Edited by Sumin Zhao and Chaoqun Xie
[Internet Pragmatics 4:2] 2021
► pp. 177–189
Understanding Chinese social media
Human beings are now living in social media, for various social media apps or platforms are becoming more and more indispensable to their everyday livelihood and social practice. In fact, social media users are dwelling in two life-worlds and living two lives, online and offline, shuttling back and forth between them. China, with nearly one billion internet users, has formed the world’s largest digital society, contributing to several questions that can be raised concerning the essence of Chinese social media. After presenting some basic statistics and facts about Chinese social media, this introduction, inspired by Bakhtin’s (1981a, 1981b) views on carnival and Heidegger’s (1966, 1977, 2002, 2010, 2012) thought-provoking insights into technology, explores the essence of Chinese social media as carnival, as revealing and concealing, and as positionality, with a view to questioning the essence of human-technology relations and to thinking how it is possible to stay both connected and disconnected in an interconnected life-world.
Keywords: Chinese social media, technology, Bakhtin, Heidegger, carnival, revealing, concealing, positionality, releasement
- 1.Chinese social media as statistics and facts
- 2.Chinese social media as carnivalizing
- 3.Chinese social media as revealing and concealing
- 4.Chinese social media as positionality
- 5.Concluding remarks
Published online: 25 October 2021
2021 “第47次中国互联网络发展状况统计报告 [The 47th statistical report on China’s internet development].” http://cnnic.cn/hlwfzyj/hlwxzbg/hlwtjbg/202102/P020210203334633480104.pdf (accessed 3 March 2021).
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