, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 228–246 | Cite as

Streams of fun and cringe: talking about Snapchat as mediated affective practice

  • Erik CarlquistEmail author
  • Lin Prøitz
  • Katrina Roen
Original Article


How do young people interpret and negotiate their sense of being affected in the context of social media use? Our study draws on recent theorizing that views affective practices as discursive, relational and imbued with power. We specifically address practices that users engage in as they pursue forms of digitally mediated emotional involvement when using Snapchat, an image-based social media application. Our data consist of focus group dialogues with Norwegian students aged 16–19, recruited from schools selected for socio-economic and multicultural diversity. Excerpts exemplify how Snapchat use is not only engagingly talked about, but also affects non-digital everyday interactions. The analysis illustrates how young people’s talk about Snapchat deploys various discursive objects that convey promises of happiness and well-being, and affords particular forms of subjectivity. Image-sharing practices, and how they are communicated and felt, are embedded in and reproduce social norms, yet also provide spaces of belonging.


Affective practices Well-being Youth Negotiating norms Relationships Intimacy Embodiment 



This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council (Samansvar programme) Grant Number 247921/O70, and the University of Oslo.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bjørknes University CollegeOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Østfold University CollegeHaldenNorway

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