Sensing Bodies and Digitally Mediated Distress

Article


Tucker, I. and Goodings, L. 2015. Sensing Bodies and Digitally Mediated Distress. The Senses and Society. 9 (1), pp. 55-71.
AuthorsTucker, I. and Goodings, L.
Abstract

In The Five Senses (2008) Michel Serres shows how the body is not an abstracted, dislocated surface that allows for the objectification of the senses and instead illustrates how it is a process: one of continually infolding sensitivities that translate our bodily feelings into a fluid sense of the world. In this article we explore what it means to be a body in the mediated environments of everyday lives of those who visit social media sites that are designed to help people deal with mental distress. We will discuss the way that “bodies” must tack between oft-competing pressures and draws, which emanate from the performance of sense that is contained within these sites. Attempts to “make” sense of the body in such terrains often require an increasingly sophisticated set of skills and expertise and can, despite our best efforts, result in the body being transported to unexpected places. In order to capture a sense of movement, people must try to transform their offline experiences into a set of actions that can be rendered meaningful in terms of an online domain, which we argue is against the way that people sense. We develop a theory of sensory bodies as subject to continual “movement,” drawing on the work of Serres, Simondon, and Manning, before discussing three examples of social media use in mental health, and the potential implications for people having to learn to sense in and through such online spaces.

JournalThe Senses and Society
Journal citation9 (1), pp. 55-71
ISSN1745-8927
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.2752/174589314X13834112761047
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.2752/174589314X13834112761047
Publication dates
Print16 Apr 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Sep 2017
Copyright information© 2014 Taylor & Francis
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85663

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