This book is intended to fill this gap, contributing to our understanding of the consequences of social media and digital technologies as culturally and historically grounded.
This is the second monograph to appear in a series of nine. It is important to note that the conclusions of this book are almost the opposite of those of the first monograph about an English village.8 In our comparative book, How the World Changed Social Media,9 we offer a definition of social media as scalable sociality. This reflects the development of social media as the colonisation of the space between a prior duality of public broadcast media and private conversation. In the case of the English village this raised important issues, because the English population used this new facility to create gradations of closeness and intimacy along these scales. In this book, we shall see that people in Mardin also create different gradations and groups, but, by contrast, they use social media mostly for ‘very private’ and ‘very public’ online communication, and this in turn extends the distinction between private and public. This is not at all what one might have guessed would be the response to social media as scalable sociality, and it once again demonstrates that we cannot predict how a new set of technologies will be appropriated locally.
The city of Mardin is an unusual and unique place within Turkey. It is a multi-ethnic and multi-religion city located 30 km away from the border with Syria and around 250 km from the border with Iraq, in the middle of the Kurdish region of Turkey.
Fig. 1.1 Location of Mardin in Turkey
ntroduction: Welcome to Mardin