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Social Media Archeology and Poetics$
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Judy Malloy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034654

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034654.001.0001

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Epilogue: Slow Machines and Utopian Dreams

Epilogue: Slow Machines and Utopian Dreams

(p.399) 28 Epilogue: Slow Machines and Utopian Dreams
Social Media Archeology and Poetics

Judith Donath

The MIT Press

The early days of social media saw tremendous optimism about the transformations that connecting people via networked computers would bring. This chapter, the book’s epilogue, analyses the nostalgia that permeates the preceding chapters, in which the pioneers of the field write with nostalgia for creative freedom, the pre-commercial internet and the hopeful time when people believed that computing would change humanity for the better. The world of dial-up modems and floppy disks and ASCII bulletin board systems seems very long ago. But the ideals of that time, in spite of their naiveté, indeed because of it, are very valuable. Untainted by cynicism or corrupted by practicalities, they remind us of what the social net ought to be; they remind of the direction to head in, even if we will not quite get there. By inculcating ideals into mythic origin stories, nostalgia weaves them into a culture: we create the past that we want to live up to.

Keywords:   Social Media-History, Social Media - Pioneers, Social Media - Ideals, Early Social Media - Nostalgia, Creative Freedom, Computing - Ideals

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