The Notifiction: How Push Notifications from Neighbourhood Surveillance Apps Can Create an Alternative Narrative of Place


  • Andy Fischer Wright University of Texas at Austin



This article concerns the author’s attempt to stay connected with his home neighborhood in Austin, TX, and how that conflicts with using the neighbourhood surveillance platform Ring Neighbors during the pandemic. Utilizing a mixed methodology based in autoethnography, the author considers how the notifications produced by this platform can create new potential narratives about his neighbourhood during a pandemic. While this app is theoretically helpful by showing what community members are thinking, the notifications that it thrusts into his daily life tend to create a fictional representation of his home, which he deems a “notifiction.”

Author Biography

Andy Fischer Wright, University of Texas at Austin

Andy Fischer Wright is a doctoral student in the Radio-Television-Film department at the University of Texas at Austin. Andy completed his BA with a double major with honours in Media Studies and English & World Literature from Pitzer College. In Spring 2020, he completed his master's thesis on the sociocultural implications of push notifications. Andy's research interests include continued work with push notifications, digital media, and cultural studies more broadly, and anything to do with the intimate collision between everyday life and information technology.


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How to Cite

Wright, A. F. (2022). The Notifiction: How Push Notifications from Neighbourhood Surveillance Apps Can Create an Alternative Narrative of Place. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 12(2), 201–221.