City Research Online

Being watched and feeling judged on social media

Gill, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-2715-1867 (2022). Being watched and feeling judged on social media. Feminist Media Studies, 21(8), pp. 1387-1392. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2021.1996427


This short paper reports on research I conducted in 2020/21 with a diverse group of young people living in the UK. The research is interested in multiple aspects of “life on my phone” and is centred on listening to young people’s accounts of their lives on and off social media. Here, I draw out several key experiences that young women in particular told me about again and again. First, the impossibility of being perfect but also real. Second, the experience of feeling watched and surveilled. Thirdly, the sense of feeling and being judged all the time. Fourthly, the palpable fear—particularly when posting—of “getting it wrong” in one or more ways. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the current conjuncture and field of study as Feminist Media Studies celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Social media, affect, surveillance, subjectivity, neoliberalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Culture & the Creative Industries
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of RFMS_A_1996427.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (185kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login