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Volume 27, Number 11 - 7 November 2022
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This month: November 2022
Community identities under perturbation: COVID-19 and the r/digitalnomad subreddit
Digital nomads (DNs) are hyper-mobile, location-independent workers whose practices blur traditional boundaries between labour, leisure, home and travel. They rely on digital tools to work and on computer-mediated communication to share knowledge and resources. Three years of r/digitalnomad threads were analyzed to determine if there was a pre-pandemic stable community expression, and if so, how the COVID-19 pandemic may have perturbed it. Since lockdowns and travel restrictions impinged on fundamental DN values, the nature of the topics and interaction patterns that characterise the r/digitalnomad subreddit could have changed its character. There was a stable pre-pandemic balanced expression of core and peripheral conversation topics with regular interaction patterns. This identity expression was perturbed temporarily in the middle of the lockdown period when the community shifted focus to interactions about visa issues. As many countries began to re-open their borders around May 2021, a record-breaking number of interactions disrupted identity expression more profoundly.
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Also this month
News sources and emotional responses to COVID-19 news: Findings from U.K. news users
Existing research has begun to document some of the troubling links between COVID-19 news consumption and emotional and psychological well-being, but precisely which sources of news are more likely to be related to such phenomena is still relatively unknown. Given the greater likelihood of encountering disinformation, rumour and other content of dubious origin via interpersonal networks on social media, we might assume that this is liable to spark greater confusion, fear, panic, anxiety and other negative emotions. A nationally representative survey of U.K. news users demonstrates that there were no significant statistical or practical differences in audiences’ emotional responses to the news between those who rely on social media as their primary source for COVID-19 news, and those who rely on other sources of news.