You'll Never Walk Alone

Socializing and Finding Your Tribe in a Digital Age

Authored by: Bernard Cova , Laurence Dessart

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032329598
eBook ISBN: 9781003317524
Adobe ISBN:


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Like many communal activities, football can bring people together in acts of solidarity and togetherness, a spirit evocatively illustrated in the world-renowned football anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone. This chapter argues that this spirit can be effectively harnessed in a digital world around very different topics or brands. Everyone can find the tribes they need through digital means that connect people who share the same passion yet live at a distance. The extreme isolation that certain individuals face in contemporary societies is tempered by their digital participation in tribes of enthusiasts be they related to sports, music, culture, or specific life experiences. They share content, play games, and co-produce with other enthusiasts. However, this phenomenon merits a second look, as some of these enthusiasts enact seemingly paradoxical behaviors that lead them to seek the digital company of others while not necessarily interacting with them. They attempt to end their isolation by digitally connecting with others without having to “pay the price”, namely interacting. In so doing, they live contiguous experiences with other members of the tribe, and while they might be gregarious, they remain anonymous individuals of the digital age.

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