Transient Feelings

Autoethnographic Vignettes on Digital Intimacy and Interiority

  • Donnalyn Xu University of Sydney
Keywords: Intimacy, Loneliness, Affect, Autoethnography, Poetry


In response to the shifts of communication following the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, this research investigates the disorienting experience of navigating loneliness and intimacy in the digital space. Creative writing is a relatively unexplored but recently emerging field of academic inquiry (Skains 2018, 84). Poetry in particular involves research into the language and textures of the world—it is a critical way of thinking that incorporates not just the signified meaning of words, but also the phonaesthetics, placement, space, and textual structure. This practice-based creative work is presented in the form of a 9-part autoethnographic prose poem that echoes the fragmented and asynchronous nature of digital communication (Bonner 2016, 11). Through stream-of-consciousness vignettes that could be read in any order, I emulate the experience of scrolling through a feed. I explore ideas of limitlessness in the face of apocalyptic endings, where our desire for more is troubled by having too much. This experimental and experiential paper is ultimately an interrogation of the tension between affective relations and isolation, where mediated bodies are troubled by longing, loneliness, and looking.

July 5, 2021
How to Cite
Xu, D. (2021). Transient Feelings: Autoethnographic Vignettes on Digital Intimacy and Interiority. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 14(1), 117–120.