This thesis explores the formation of women’s auto-noetic consciousness through social media: what is the phenomenological experience of women performing, writing, and consistently monitoring very public, very detailed personal narratives via digital media tools? Using Twitter, this project involves writing a 10,000-word memoir, based on a traumatic series of events experienced by the author as a teenager. Each tweet is a whole, stand-alone sentence, for a total of approximately 625 tweets. Utilizing an automated tweeting tool, the mini-memoir unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness manner characteristic to of the medium, over the span of about four weeks. With an average of twice-daily tweets, this process equals about eleven months of time, which matches the temporal span of the narrative, and furthermore suits the phenomenological reality of individuals writing the rich novels of their lives over social media, one update at a time. Thinkers like Macej Cegłowski warn that the internet maps poorly on concepts of how memory should work, as binary memory percolates up into the design of online communities. This system of forever-memory, in which any comment and photo can be screen-capped and stored, works in contrast to how individuals prefer to remember – especially, perhaps, very young people millions of whom live their “embarrassing teen years” in public, and in stunning detail. To truly make the personal political and explore these concerns, Victoria Hetherington uses her own professional and personal Twitter profile to share this narrative.
L'écriture féminine; Twitter; Twitter fiction; Memoir; Confessional Politics; Technological Embodiment.
Dr. Irene Gammel; Readers: Dr. Jason Boyd; Dr. Laura Fisher