Conceptualizing Personal Media

TitleConceptualizing Personal Media
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLüders, Marika
JournalNew Media & Society
KeywordsCMC, communication, genre, medium theory, multimodality

The digitalization and personal use of mediatechnologies have destabilized the traditional
dichotomization between mass communication and
interpersonal communication, and therefore between
mass media and personal media (e.g. mobile phones,
email, instant messenger, blogs and photo-sharing
services). As private individuals use media technologies
to create and share personal expressions through digital
networks, previous characteristics of mass media as
providers of generally accessible information are no
longer accurate.This article may be situated within a
medium-theoretical tradition, as it elucidates technical
and social dimensions of personal media and revises the
distinction between mass media and personal media.
A two-dimensional model suggests locating personal
media and mass media according to an interactional axis
and an institutional/professional axis: personal media are
de-institutionalized/de-professionalized and facilitate
mediated interaction.The implementation of digital
media technologies has important consequences for
social networks and fits well within a theoretical
discussion of the post-traditional self.