Digital nomads, coworking, and other expressions of mobile work on Twitter

  • Jeff Hemsley Syracuse University
  • Ingrid Erickson Syracuse University
  • Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi University of North Carolina
  • Amir Karami University of South Carolina
Keywords: Digital Nomads, Coworking, Mobile Work, Twitter, Co-occurrence Analysis

Abstract

We analyze a set of Twitter hashtags to ascertain how contemporary parlance in social media can illuminate the rich cultural intersections between modern forms of work, use of technology, and physical mobility. We use network word co-occurrence analysis and topic modeling to reveal several thematic areas of discourse present in Twitter, each with its own affiliated terms and distinctive emphases. The first theme centers on worker identity and is currently dominated by the experiences of digital nomads. The second theme focuses on the practicalities of working in a physical location and is currently dominated by issues related to co-working spaces. Finally, the third theme is a loose and speculative set of ideas around the evolution of work in the future, predicting how enterprises may have to adapt to new ways of working. Our contribution is twofold. First, we contribute to scholarship on social media methods by showing how a robust analysis of Twitter data can help scholars find subthematic nuance within a complex discussion space by identifying the existence and boundaries of topical sub-themes. Second, we contribute to scholarship on the future of work by providing empirical evidence for the ways that the myriad terms related to mobility and work relate to one another and, most importantly, how these relations signal semantic centrality among those who share their thoughts on these types of work.

Published
2020-02-15
How to Cite
Hemsley, J., Erickson, I., Jarrahi, M. H., & Karami, A. (2020). Digital nomads, coworking, and other expressions of mobile work on Twitter. First Monday, 25(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v25i3.10246