ABSTRACT

In order to illustrate the theoretical debates which have taken place so far, this chapter discusses some exemplary data from a research project on individuals with facial disfigurements. All social media users who were interviewed in the project used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to varying degrees to display their own subjectivities, primarily through disfigurement or bodily difference. This act of negotiation of their subjectivities was fundamentally about a particular embodied characteristic (a disfigurement) that was itself turned into affective labour for social media companies. The chapter begins by discussing one interviewee’s narrated biographical details in more detail. They can help to show how media usage is shaped by life histories. The narratives situate social media use as an embodied practice that is oriented towards and in tension with affective intensities, other social media users, and social media interfaces.