This paper explores how we use social media to construe identities and align with others into communities of shared values. The focus is on how “users of language perform their identities within uses of language” (Martin et al., forthcoming): how do personae using the microblogging service, Twitter, perform relational identities as they enact discourse fellowships? Addressing this question means understanding how personae enter into ambient affiliation. Such affiliation is ambient in the sense that social media users may not be interacting directly, but instead participating in mass performances of hashtagging or contributing to iterations of Internet memes. This paper will consider three key bonds (self-deprecation, frazzle and addiction) using both a 100 million word corpus of posts and a smaller specialised corpus collected by capturing the entire Twitter stream of a particular user.
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