Affective forces of connection and disconnection on Facebook: a study of Australian parents beyond toddlerhood

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Abstract

Research has demonstrated that new mothers are among the most active users of Facebook. There has been only limited empirical investigation of parents’ Facebook practices in the years following babyhood. This article examines patterns of Facebook use among parents of children aged between two and eight based on interviews and observations. In contrast to earlier phases of parenting, many users had adopted selective modes of engagement or were seeking to step back from the platform. Parents’ accounts highlight the affective dimensions of their enactments of Facebook for information and support. Situated in the literature on connective and disconnective strategies on Facebook, I argue that the affective forces users experience in relation to Facebook extend beyond what we would traditionally think of as the boundaries of the Facebook user assemblage, with experiences of anxiety and judgment continuing after the choice to disconnect. Parents who remained active users had developed strategies to know with the technology, and to manage its affective forces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInformation, Communication and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2022

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