Rendering inhabitable the nonhuman temporality of the digital (culture)

Talha Issevenler, Sociology

Digital culture opened up new possibilities of experiencing time. Complicating linear narrative of acceleration, famously put by Marx as annihilation of space by time, I argue in my dissertation project that the past have become the material of emerging forms of recollection that are rhythmic as in the popular form of #TBT (Throwback Thursdays), future have become political site of calculation as expected population behavior is increasingly put under the sway of algorithmic prediction and present is immensely expanded and networked due to the decentralized and distributed formations of feeds based on the algorithmic capacity to produce singular timelines for each user.

In this process of emergent digital culture, antecedent cultural regimes of memory, narration, socialization become to the material for new avenues of digital actualization. Massively popular Stories of Snapshot, Instagram, Facebook, TicTok are narratives but also, they are not narratives; they are packages of affect, intervals of duration. Yet from another perspective they are forms of representations of reality authorized by the user indexing a subjective experience. Of course, they are also data bits. While Stories have quickly become an everyday form of communication and memorialization, they are also political and economic technologies of extracting free labor to feed data-rich environments.

I aim to document emerging genres of temporality in social practices and events that have the quality of a collective effort of reformulation social syntax within digital milieu such as Stories. The rituals of social life from rhythmic salutations to collective processes of mourning are acquiring new forms and intensities in digital age, they are also from another perspective what humanize the nonhuman aspects of the digital culture.

Two examples that illustrates modification of everyday social temporality;
“The Internet Is Filling Up Because Indians Are Sending Millions of ‘Good Morning!’ Texts”
“Facebook reveals news feed experiment to control emotions”

My goal is to create an analytical space hosting series of temporalizations at different scale and compose theoretically or genealogically informed montages to articulate compressed and accelerated temporality of digital platforms and interactions.