The Online Emergence of Pushback on Social Media in the United States: A Historical Discourse Analysis

Kirsten Foot


Little is known about resistance to digital media in general and to social media in particular—especially beyond the realm of individuals enacting their media preferences. This article addresses that gap through a historical discourse analysis of the emergence of discursive resistance to social media use across multipleU.S.sociocultural realms. I analyze forms of pushback that became widely visible online between 2009 and 2011 and examine indicators of their emergence. Leveraging concerns about the ubiquity and constancy of digital ICTs more generally, I map ways that resistance to social media was framed in regards to work and organizational dynamics, politics, and the military, as well as personal and relational issues—motivated by distinct yet related reasons.


social media; digital media; non-users; refusal; resistance; rejection; discourse analysis; historical analysis

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