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The Qualified SelfSocial Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life$
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Lee Humphreys

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037853

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037853.001.0001

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(p.91) 5 Reckoning
The Qualified Self

Lee Humphreys

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the practice of reckoning. Reckoning is the process of engaging with media traces to better understand ourselves and the world around us. It examines the evidentiary nature of media traces. Drawing on Derrida's notion of the trace, it examines the ways in which media accounting allows us to both prove and improve ourselves. It discusses the ways that various media traces are used as evidence. The chapter draws on the GoPro camera and its community of YouTube users to demonstrate how everyday people create and share their videos to document and prove that something happened. It is also argued that reckoning comes from the aggregated nature of media accounting. The chapter examines various tensions that arise when our media traces do not align with our sense of selves and describes a reconciliation process that we engage in through media accounting.

Keywords:   reckoning, media traces, media accounting, self, reconciliation, social media

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