Sad by Design

Sad by Design : On Platform Nihilism

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Sadness is now a design problem. The highs and lows of melancholy are coded into social media platforms. After all the clicking, browsing, swiping and liking, all we are left with is the flat and empty aftermath of time lost to the app.

Sad by Design offers a critical analysis of the growing social media controversies such as fake news, toxic viral memes and online addiction. The failed search for a grand design has resulted in depoliticised internet studies unable to generate either radical critique or a search for alternatives.

Geert Lovink calls for us to embrace the engineered intimacy of social media, messenger apps and selfies, because boredom is the first stage of overcoming 'platform nihilism'. Then, after the haze, we can organise to disrupt the data extraction industries at their core.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 135 x 215mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745339352
  • 9780745339351

Table of contents

Introduction: Society of the Social

1. Overcoming the Disillusioned Internet

2. The Social Media as Ideology

3. Distraction and its Discontents

4. Sad by Design

5. Media-Network-Platform

6. From Registration to Extermination: On Technological Violence

7. Narcissus Confirmed: Technologies of the Minimal Selfie

8. Mask Design as Aesthetics of the Faceless

9. Memes as Strategy: European Origins and Debates

10. Before Building the Avant-Garde of the Commons

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About Geert Lovink

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Zero Comments (Routledge, 2007), Networks Without a Cause (Polity, 2012), Social Media Abyss (Polity, 2016) and Sad By Design (Pluto, 2019). He founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and teaches at the European Graduate School.
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