Gendered networked visualities

Locative camera phone cultures in Seoul, South Korea

Authored by: Larissa Hjorth

The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415527699
eBook ISBN: 9780203066911
Adobe ISBN: 9781135076955

10.4324/9780203066911.ch51

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Abstract

In a busy café in Seoul’s trendy Gangnam area, a young woman drinks coffee. Far from bored or lonely, Soo touches her smartphone like an old friend. After “checking in” on Facebook to show others where she is, she begins to explore her various smartphone photo apps. Soo used to take self-portraits (sel-ca) and upload them to Korea’s oldest social network site, Cyworld minihompy. However, with the rise of location-aware media like Facebook and Foursquare, she feels less compelled to share images of herself; instead she creates different images of her location. Sharing these ambient images among physically absent yet electronically co-present friends gives her comfort and joy. The sharing allows her to share moments—emotional gestures in a particular time and space—with friends in other co-present spaces. So, while Soo is in a café she also inhabits online spaces whereby physically absent friends are “absent presences” (Gergen 2002).

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