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MOBILE VISUALITIES AND TECHNOLOGICALLY-MEDIATED RELATIONSHIPS: HOW IMAGES ARE SHAPING ONLINE USERS' SOCIAL LIVES.

1. Introduction

Online social relationships advance gradually towards an expanded use of imageries (Bratu, 2017; Lazaroiu, 2017; Stroe, 2018) to bring about and handle connections. Environments of experience (the facilitation of the platform) are pivotal in regulating the value of images. (Serafinelli, 2017) Visual communication is a component of the infrastructure of ordinary sociality. Social media entails various kinds of visual content. An essential aspect of visual social media is transferability. (Hand, 2017)

2. Literature Review

The increasing employment of social media among Internet consumers generates a massive and innovative source of user-generated ecological information (e.g. textual posts and images). (Azucar, Marengo, and Settanni, 2018) Image-sharing operations are driven by the technical particularities of platforms. (Scolere, Pruchniewska, and Duffy, 2018) The adoption of distinct image-based characteristics in visual communication (Alpopi and Silvestru (Bere), 2016; Grcic Fabic, Zekic, and Samarzija, 2016; Popescu, Comanescu, and Manole, 2017) is relevant for raising digital visual involvement among Instagram users. (Valentini et al., 2018) Words may clarify driving forces and perspectives while images may convey what words cannot express (e.g. emotions). Instagram is an atypical social network that influences social relationships chiefly on visual interaction. The catalysts that trigger Instagram users' engagement in the routine of photo sharing online resemble current habitudes on social networking sites. (Serafinelli, 2017)

3. Methodology

Building my argument by drawing on data collected from Adobe, Audience Project, Pew Research Center, Software Advice, and Statista, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding most important tactics for optimizing content on social media (use images or photos/include hashtags and usernames/target specific groups or users/use CTAs (share, retweet, follow)/optimize image size for each network/use videos/limit the number of characters), among internet users, percentage who have reposted images and videos they found elsewhere online and percentage who repost both (curators), percentage of U.S. adults (in each age group) who say they use the main social media sites online or on their cellphone, and share that use the main social media apps "several times a day."

4. Results and Discussion

Aesthetic visual communication occurs throughout an array of social media platforms where users' experiences are visualized. (Pearce et al., 2018) Action images along with assertive or expressive posts give rise to superior participation than ones with directive messages, which saddle users. (Villarroel Ordenes et al., 2018) Instagram is a strong link between persons from not close regions as communication through images may improve verbal interaction. The routine of photo sharing via the facilitation of the platform is not an irreplaceable means to handle social relationships as visuality represents a partial channel of communication (Balica, 2017; Hellman and Majamaki, 2016; Roca-Sales and Lopez-Garcia, 2017), while being a solid facilitator of social relationships (an agent of fulfillment). An increasing employment of visualities-as-interaction materializes to the detriment of text messages or phone calls. (Serafinelli, 2017) (Figures 1-5)
Figure 2 Among internet users, percentage who have reposted images and
videos they found elsewhere online and percentage who repost both
(curators)

                        2012    2018

Share others' images    35%     42%
Share others' videos    25%     38%
Curators                41%     52%

Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 4,100 individuals
conducted July 2018.

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 3 Share that use the following social media apps "several times
a day"

Facebook      58%
WhatsApp      48%
YouTube       38%
Snapchat      37%
Instagram     36%
Twitter       35%
Tumblr        28%
Reddit        25%
Periscope     23%
Pinterest     14%

Sources: Audience Project; Statista; my survey among 3,600 individuals
conducted June 2018.

Note: Table made from bar graph.


5. Conclusions

Visual interaction, via the flexibility of smart mobile devices and the facilitation of social media platforms, is a channel of ubiquitous connectivity (Bratu, 2017; Lazaroiu, 2017; Stroe, 2018) between users from not close locations. Visual communication on Instagram constitutes an effective social connector that may set off physical encounters and trigger individuals' interest (Alpopi and Silvestru (Bere), 2016; Grcic Fabic, Zekic, and Samarzija, 2016; Popescu, Comanescu, and Manole, 2017) towards the consideration of novel situations. (Serafinelli, 2017) An essential issue with visual items in social media is establishing their setting. Users frequently employ static and moving images in everday interaction, access the most of news in a visual manner in social media, and cohabit with their personal screens while performing their ordinary undertakings. (Hand, 2017) Teenagers disclosing employment of social media examining visual content show considerably higher discomfort with their body image and convey superior degrees of emotional symptoms. (Marengo et al., 2018)

Acknowledgments

This paper was supported by Grant GE-1384594 from the Social Science Research Unit at CLI, Washington, DC.

Author Contributions

The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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doi:10.22381/AM17201810

NELA MIRCICA

nelamircica@yahoo.com

Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

How to cite: Mircica, Nela (2018). "Mobile Visualities and Technologically-Mediated Relationships: How Images Are Shaping Online Users' Social Lives," Analysis and Metaphysics 17: 146-151.

Received 10 August 2018 * Received in revised form 1 November 2018

Accepted 12 November 2018 * Available online 12 December 2018
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Author:Mircica, Nela
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Date:Jan 1, 2018
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