Social media and migration: Virtual community 2.0

Lee Komito. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Volume 62, Issue 6, pages 1075–1086, June 2011 Social media and migration: Virtual community 2.0 Article first published online: 22 MAR 2011

Research indicates that migrants' social media usage in Ireland enables a background awareness of friends and acquaintances that supports bonding capital and transnational communities in ways not previously reported. Interview data from 65 Polish and Filipino non-nationals in Ireland provide evidence that their social media practices enable a shared experience with friends and relations living outside Ireland that is not simply an elaboration of the social relations enabled by earlier Internet applications. Social media usage enables a passive monitoring of others, through the circulation of voice, video, text, and pictures, that maintains a low level mutual awareness and supports a dispersed community of affinity. This ambient, or background, awareness of others enhances and supports dispersed communities by contributing to bonding capital. This may lead to significant changes in the process of migration by slowing down the process of integration and participation in host societies while also encouraging continual movement of migrants from one society to another.

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