Join us Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 12-1:20 in SS 401 for a presentation by Nora Taplin, Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

By , February 10, 2013 8:55 am

The Uses of Foursquare: Location-Based Online Social Networking in Both Online and Offline Social Experience


New technologies, such as smartphones that contain both GPS and Internet capability, are connecting physical and online social realms. One type of platform that makes use of this connection between physical and virtual social space is the location based social network (LBSN). This paper asks: how do people integrate the use of LBSNs into their online and physical social lives? I use semi-structured involved interviews with users of Foursquare (a popular LBSN) and online social network platform developers to understand this evolving technological space for social interaction. Participants in this study used Foursquare in five main ways gaming, creating a sense of belonging, engaging in conspicuous consumption, arranging in person meetings, and marketing. Foursquare users also differ in the extent to which they engage in passive or directed communication. Studies of traditional online social networks suggest that specific types of computer mediated communication have different implications for mental health.

Nora graduated from Swarthmore College in 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Political Science. She received my M.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2011 and am currently in the Sociology PhD program there.

Jan Doering will serve as the discussant.

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