Milestone Celebrations in the Age of Social Media

Milestone Celebrations in the Age of Social Media

Performativity, Ritual, and Representation

Carly Gieseler


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In the decade spanning 2010–2020, social media showcased growing celebrations of lifetime milestones across multiple platforms. Utilizing theoretical and methodological approaches based in cultural studies, Milestone Celebrations in the Age of Social Media analyzes social media phenomena including gender-reveal parties; promposals; publicized marriage proposals; divorce celebrations; and the rites of the Death Positive Movement. Carly Gieseler illustrates how the public sharing of major life events on social media platforms reshapes the way we communicate about topics including courtship, birth, marriage, divorce, and death. While each trend represents a unique occasion, these celebrations share themes inherent to our human experience in the digital age. Culminating in the wake of the pandemic and its impact on each communal celebration, this book illustrates one of our most vital human drives—connection.


Carly Gieseler:

Carly Gieseler is associate professor in the Department of Performing and Fine Arts at York College, City University of New York.