Xinyuan Wang

Xinyuan Wang

Postdoctoral Researcher at UCL. The author of 'Social Media in Industrial China' and co-author of 'How the World Changed Social Media'.

Activity

  • Hi Violeta, I found your observation of yourself "choose not to show certain spaces in my house and cancel the video" very interesting, which exactly shows how you treat your smartphone like your 'home' where you feel you can change things and have the capability to put things under your control.

  • Thank you Noreen for sharing this very interesting case in Philippines!

  • nice spotting lol

  • Hey Annabel, true, the smartphone study, young as it is, already has a history! Yes, we included some previous studies also to depict this ongoing history and inspire some comparison between 'then' and 'now' as you rightly noted.

  • Hi Manduhai, your observation about your mum's use of the smartphone is very interesting. It is also common to see such a complicated relationship with regard to the use of the digital - it is on the one hand empower people, on the other hand, may make people feel helpless and frustrated. The focus on ageing/health is more in line with the common concern of...

  • Hi Xinyue, I would agree with you that the urban/rural divide is huge in China in many aspects, including older people's use of the smartphone

  • That's true Sofia, surveillance is ubiquitous, but neither the party-state nor the social media company has the full 'control'. the use of social media is also under the control of users, and in many cases, the users 're-design' social media.

  • good conclusion Hilary

  • Hey Emma, thank you for your question. I took the MSc course of 'digital anthropology' at UCL department of Anthropology which continued with PhD at the same department. Five of us in the team took our PhD at UCL department of Anthropology. I hope these two links will provide you with more detailed information: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/;...

  • Interesting, so do you think they 'hide' the aspects of their offline lives which you know in purposes?

  • This is really interesting - the interpretation of sharing password, the hidden friends and secret chat room. Thank you for sharing these with us Elena!

  • It is a very interesting observation Deborah! '

  • Thank you Paula for sharing your experience from a teacher's point of view! And I would recommend the book "It's complicated" to you http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/download-a-free-copy-of-danah-boyds-book-its-complicated-the-social-lives-of-networked-teens.html

  • and Catherine your grandchildren's use of tablets worried me as it sounds a bit like addiction. Do you know what do they do with their tablets? game? I hope this article may help you:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/family/how-to-unplug-your--ipad-addicted-child/

  • Hi there, thank you for your great discussion here which also inspired me. I believe what is central to anthropology is to show empathetic respect for what people are doing and why they do it, and my evidence is that from their point of view there are grounds for rejecting the tendency to see online is a mere 'virtual' place or online is not 'real life'....

  • Hi Sujith, the case of the 'mother mediated WhatsApp conversation' is very interesting, and yes it showcased how the same 'new' technology can be used in totally different ways for different purposes.

  • Hi Cristina, actually with 'SM become more and more embeeded in our lives' the concept polymedia will be more and more applicable as polymedia is exactly talking about the situation where there is a range of available media in daily life.

  • That's right Konstancja here we extended our discussion of social media to the internet in general.

  • Hi Rob, I am very impressed by your Yin-Yang model which renders the situation in a very comprehensive manner. Thank you.

  • Yes Kristin you tackled a key point of the discussion - how do we define or judge 'education' by standardized tests, prospects of employment? or something more.

  • I agree Ricky - FutureLearn can be considered as a social media platform as it allows users to connect with each other and exchange information. And FutureLern is truly a great example of how social media can so positively contribute to education.

  • Thank Gail for sharing your personal experience with us. And like you, I also enjoyed reading all the comments here - it presents such a touching and rich world.

  • brilliant, I will take a note of this meme. Thanks Ricky

  • This is a very interesting observation of the manipulation of social media in your country. Thank Sergei. Which country do you come from Sergei? and if it is possible could you give us an example of the ways the government used social media to channel the people back to traditional value?

  • It is a very neat metaphor Dominic. Thanks

  • What you did is actually very common in China too.

  • Yes Paula, as you rightly spotted what is 'good' (the social norms) guide they to carefully choose different social media platforms for different social groups.

  • Thank you Eduardo for giving us a very interesting and reveling case. and actually it is also to do Polymedia - which way is more suitable for expression private feelings?

  • That is very true Sally -you will have 'digital tattoo' online. Having said so, the subtle movement here was Huang Ling actually wanted to be seen by others, especially her ex in order to send the message. What she wanted to avoid was the involvement of the senior family members.

  • Hi Eduardo, Think about what kind of media you use to communicate with people. Do you use letter, text message, telephone, social media, or video call? Polymedia refers to not only social media platforms, but the whole range of communicative tools available in your daily life.

  • Yes in this case a WhatsApp message will be more appreciated as it regarded as 'more personal and intentional'. Thank you Christann for giving us a very good example of the use of Polymedia

  • Hi Monique, thank you for your comment. For social media developers there is certainly a hope that there are groups of target users and they will find their niche in the market. However there is another side of the story - that users won't necessarily use the media in the ways the developers assumed or hoped, they actually creatively 'reproduce' the use of the...

  • Yes you are right Ricky, it is surely not just about the value of different social groups. However 'the majority of people use' in practice is actually linked with 'collective taste/vaule' and reflects it. In addition, each individual plays different roles in his or her social life - family, friend, colleague, or online stranger. Polymedia describe the...

  • haha, a witty point!

  • Thanks Khan for these questions. Anthropology is surely different from lab science (where right results are supposed to be 100% repeatable and the conditions and variables are totally controllable) as it deals with complicated and constantly changing societies and people. What we learn is the normativity as you mentioned. I would like to recommend you to read...

  • It is a good question Wendy. In a way, I think it to do with the collective 'taste'. Chinese website design has been known for its richer colours and more complicated, cluttered layouts compared to Western websites, which value simplicity far more.

  • Hey Catherine and Monique, the shake shake is a lot fun isn't it? Well to answer Catherine's questions: what happened after saying hello is pretty much what you will with a stranger in offline context - conversation can continue if people like and two strangers can even become friends. And it not only work with people in the immediate proximity - as long as...

  • Thank you for your comment Shuja, yes the urbanization is massive in China and the urban population certainly benefited from the ICT boom much earlier than the rural population. Having said so, both Toms and my research among rural population and rural migrant population show that the rural population is a great beneficiary of the boom of the smartphone and...

  • Hey Monique and Heather thank you for pointing out this confusing bit of the chart - maybe next time to put things in two separate charts would help. Yes the green bars show the global MAU of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter whereas the blue bars show the MAU of these Chinese social media platforms.

  • Thank you very much for your kind words Despina!

  • Hmm, 'is social media making us business like?' good question Ruth. I think that also depends on how you define 'business'. If social networking is a part of doing business, then I would say social media definitely facilitates that process by making social networking much easier. Having said so, it can easily be a 'chicken or egg' question, as the intrinsic...

  • the app 'swish' sounds cool, thank you Shela. So do people use 'swish' to transfer cash to their friends as gift?