“Thank You, Next”: From Broken Relationships to Facebook Narratives
What connects Arianna Grande with a Greek Facebook group and all the drama that accompanies amorous rejection? “Thank you, Next“ is a private internet group, in Greek language and for a Greek speaking audience, whose acknowledged members share their own rejection stories, whether they get rejected or reject, themselves. The group was created in 2019, became particularly popular during the pandemic confinements and it counts more than 600,000 members. Our research perceives the specific internet group as a virtual (or imagined?) community with its own jargon, hierarchy, rules, and communication codes.
How are social ties shaped in this virtual context? How are symbolisms and collective representations of self, group and sexuality adjusted? Is the taboo still in force as the forbidden? And furthermore, is the group functioning as any other online dating social networking?
Our key research questions lay in the way in which words, phrases, symbols and humor shift their use and meaning in the community: is it possible that humor works as a rejection management strategy? Moreover, we analyze the ways social self is projected and presented, but also how some of the members seek and gain publicity through systematic use of memes and emoticons.