When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together: Online Gossip as Metacommunication

Graham M. Jones, Bambi Schieffelin, Rachel E. Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Drawing on instant messaging (IM) conversations recorded between 2006 and 2009, this chapter analyzes American teenagers' normative assessments of peers' online practices. These assessments do not take the form of reflexively elaborated metadiscourses, but rather emerge through and within metacommunicative gossip, i.e., morally motivated stories about others' online communication. In particular, it concentrates on gossip conducted via IM about communication on the social networking site Facebook. Such gossip is not only metacommunicative; it is also metasemiotic insofar as participants incorporate materials from one media channel into another, drawing on evidence gathered by "stalking", "lurking", and "creeping" on Facebook to constitute moral assessments of others' online activity. This account shows that Facebook-an affectively charged arena of self-display and mutual scrutiny in which participants construct desire and build alliances through strategies of concealment and revelation-is a powerful catalyst for metacommunicative talk.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationDigital Discourse: Language in the New Media
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199919321
    ISBN (Print)9780199795437
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 19 2012

    Fingerprint

    Gossip
    Facebook
    Instant
    Revelation
    Concealment
    Alliances
    Online Communication
    Peers
    Scrutiny
    Teenagers
    Communication
    Social Networking
    Metadiscourse

    Keywords

    • Adolescents
    • Facebook
    • Gossip
    • IM
    • Instant messaging
    • Metacommunication
    • Multimodality
    • Reported speech
    • Social networking sites
    • Teenagers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    Jones, G. M., Schieffelin, B., & Smith, R. E. (2012). When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together: Online Gossip as Metacommunication. In Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795437.003.0002

    When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together : Online Gossip as Metacommunication. / Jones, Graham M.; Schieffelin, Bambi; Smith, Rachel E.

    Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Jones, GM, Schieffelin, B & Smith, RE 2012, When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together: Online Gossip as Metacommunication. in Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795437.003.0002
    Jones GM, Schieffelin B, Smith RE. When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together: Online Gossip as Metacommunication. In Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford University Press. 2012 https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795437.003.0002
    Jones, Graham M. ; Schieffelin, Bambi ; Smith, Rachel E. / When Friends Who Talk Together Stalk Together : Online Gossip as Metacommunication. Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford University Press, 2012.
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