Journal Article

Existential Media: Toward a Theorization of Digital Thrownness



Our digitally enforced lifeworld is an existential and ambivalent terrain. Questions concerning digital technologies are thus questions about human existence. This theoretical essay employs key concepts from existential philosophy to envision an existential media analysis that accounts for the thrownness of digital human existence. Tracing our digital thrownness to four emergent fields of inquiry, that relate to classic themes (death, time, being there and being-in-and-with), it encircles both mundane connectivity and the extraordinary limit-situations (online) when our human vulnerability is principally felt and our security is shaken. In place of a savvy user, this article posits the ‘exister’ as the principal subject in media studies and inhabitant of the digital ecology – a stumbling, hurting and relational human being, who navigates within limits and among interruptions through the torrents of our digital existence, in search for meaning and existential security.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    New Media & Society.
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Author

Amanda Lagerkvist

Amanda Lagerkvist is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies and Wallenberg Academy Fellow in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. . With a PhD from Stockholm University in 2005, she had a two-year postdoc the... Read more


Lagerkvist, A. (2016). Existential Media: Toward a Theorization of Digital Thrownness. New Media & Society.