New Money Review podcast

New Money Review podcast

The message is the money

August 04, 2020

More and more of us communicate using digital platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

And soon, social media will become indistinguishable from money, says Lana Swartz, our interviewee in the latest New Money Review podcast.

This is because money is best understood as a messaging system, says Swartz, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and the author of a new book called ‘New Money: how payment became social media’.

As an academic, Swartz studies how communications technologies change over time and how these changes impact the way we live our lives.

“I think about money as a form of media, and then think about that media as having cultural meaning. Money has always been social,” Swartz says in the podcast.

Looking at money as a messaging system also helps us broaden our understanding of a complex topic, says Swartz.

“The traditional politics of money tends to be purely economic. It focuses on questions like ‘who has money, who hasn’t, how did they get it or not get it?’” she says.

“Instead, I look at the actual mechanisms of money, the infrastructures of payment,” says Swartz.