Technological usage shaping cultural practices


The use of technologies and especially the Internet, social media and smartphones has shaped specific cultural practices that are widely spread around the globe (Porter 1997; Zittrain 2014). These practices represent a specific way people use the Internet and communicate on social networks, in general, but also in the context of a disaster. The use of emojis is now popular among the users of social media and messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger (Kelly & Watts 2015; Negishi 2014). They are small digital images used to express an idea or emotion. They have become a critical element of online communication culture and are key for a successful communication, including disaster communication (Highfield & Leaver 2016; SwiftKey 2015). If the Internet has been created and thought first as a working and sharing tool, it has now become also an entertainment tool and one of the most important aspects of Internet culture is humour (Flichy 2012). This is embodied in what is called "lol culture" (Dagnaud 2011). Monique Dagnaud (2011) defines lol culture as the culture of making fun and laughing at everything, making puns and enjoying absurdity. She insists that this culture born with the youngest has now spread to users of all ages. She identifies three key elements of this culture: the impertinence and the nods of memes, the hilarity and derision of the lol, but also the malicious laugh of the lulz.

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