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Transformations in digital virtual consumption.

Denegri-Knott, J., Jenkins, R. and Molesworth, M., 2022. Transformations in digital virtual consumption. In: Belk, R. and Llamas, R., eds. The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption. Routledge. (In Press)

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Abstract

We begin this chapter with a telling quote we found on Pinterest (2020). It reads: ‘Pinners began using the platform to answer everyday questions like ‘What should I cook?’ and ‘What should I wear?’ They also used it for epic goals like getting a tattoo or building motorcycles. Whatever the interest, people have told us that life gets a little bit better when they can use these ideas to make more of their moments’. This quote captures the sense of optimism with which we approach digital platforms. So much so, that today, much of our aspirations for personal transformation are reliant on digital media. In one internet minute in 2020, TikTok was installed 2,704 times, 500 hours of YouTube videos and 347,222 stories on Instagram were posted (Domo 2020). The total number of life-inspiring pins on Pinterest was 240 billion (Pinterest 2020). Fortnite, the free online game, made $2.4 billion in 2018, mostly from selling ‘skins’ that change the appearance of avatars. There is no shortage of inspiration for new things to want. As a result, the anticipatory cycles of revelation that produce much of the enjoyment that propels both material and digital consumption have become, as Belk et al. (2020, p. 3) argue, faster, binding eager consumers ‘in the perpetual marketplace drama that seeks to anoint something as the next new thing’. These accelerated cycles also represent new alliances between platforms and consumer desiring modes, where algorithms and other platform features like wishlists take on some of the effortful browsing associated with shopping, replacing playful flânerie with efficient paths to purchase.

Item Type:Book Section
Volume:2nd ed
Number of Pages:580
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:37334
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:08 Aug 2022 15:15
Last Modified:08 Aug 2022 15:15

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