Thoughts on Research Methods and the question of Online/Offline

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most internet research (and not just in reference to Shani Orgad’s essay) is based on the
assumption that “online” and “offline” are physical states of being and that they are implicitly treated as somehow distinct and mutually exclusive. When we actually scrutinize what it means to be online and to be offline, we see that they are not separable states of being in actuality— for when we are online we are simultaneously somewhere else physically as well—but we are definitely not disembodied (i.e., without body). Neither are we not online or not connected when we are offline, since we are simultaneously connected physically, hands typing, eyes reading, mouth speaking, and engaged with activities in the wider physical space surrounding us as well. We cannot really separate our being online from being offline, because online and offline are not discrete entities. In a sense, using this vocabulary, Orgad is trying to emphasize the simultaneity of being online and offline, and she does it well. But the vocabulary itself limits our ability to study practices of everyday life in relation to internet communication.

(2008-07-17). Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method (Page 61). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

acheter suminat So let’s start with — What’s the Research question? Where are you starting your enquiry

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