The City of Social Media

34 1 T Connecting Beatriz Colomina 1

Perhaps the most important transformation of social, cultural and economic life in the twenty-first century has been the arrival of social media. A new space for design has opened up. Indeed, social media is the ultimate space for design. Through its multiple platforms, we not only communicate and collaborate with wider groups, but also refashion ourselves. Images, videos, texts, emojis, stickers, tweets, gifs, memes, comments, posts, and reposts are deployed to construct a digital personality. There was no social media before 2000. There has been an astonishing, exponential acceleration in the number of channels, users, interconnections, and speed. This is a complete transformation of the way we live with huge implications for the city. The City of Social Media is an immersive, multi-screen environment that explores social media as a new form of urbanization, the architecture of how we live together. Social media has not only constructed a new kind of virtual city that has taken over many of the functions of the traditional city, it also redefines and restructures physical space. We now inhabit a kind of hybrid space between virtual and real. As with the arrival of mass media in the early 20th century, social media redraws again what is public and what is private, what is inside and what is outside. Social media redesigns us and the space we live in.