Pulling the plug visually: Images of resistance to ICTs and connectivity

Ricardo Gomez, Kirsten Foot, Meg Young, Rose Paquet-Kinsley, Stacey Morrison


As information and communication technologies (ICTs) become ever more present and pervasive in daily life, the use or non-use of ICTs can provide choices as well as obstacles or exclusion. As people look for ways to reduce ICT use and push back on ICT immersion, some express resistance to ICTs via ICTs. Building on past scholarship based largely on interviews, surveys and textual analysis, this exploratory study analyzes a collection of images posted online that express a critique of the ubiquity and constancy of ICT use, in more dramatic ways than texts allow and in far more subtle ways than a binary division between users and non-users. Our findings of this visual content analysis of 233 images discuss the use of humor, metaphor and blurred boundaries between digital and non-digital worlds in images of resistance and show distinct patterns in representations of problems engendered by ICTs, their criticism and in the antidotes suggested in the images.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v20i11.6286

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