Health and social media are a much-discussed pairing, and a current focus of global policy and legislative moves. However, there remains an emphasis on linearly and retrospectively identifying the impact of social media on health, taking the former as homogenous and the latter as individualised.
Creating cultures and environments that enable and support ‘living healthily’ with social media now and for future generations necessitates interdisciplinary understandings that disrupt individualised conceptualisations of health and, instead, recognise the connections, complexities, and contexts that shape relationships between social media and social and material worlds.
The theoretical objective of this network, therefore, is to employ health as a conceptual framework through which to engage with the social embeddedness and multi-directionality of human/social media relations in order to interrogate what ‘living healthily’ with social media could, or even should, look like for current and future generations.
The practical objective of the network is to build on existing scholarship on social media across disciplines and forge new collaborations across academia and a range of stakeholders in order to forge an innovative research agenda into social media. We seek to instigate research collaborations that both explore current challenges and also anticipate, and seek solutions to, future ones. Key to this is also a methodological reflection on how to research relationships between social media and health.