It’s far from the most sophisticated argument I’ve heard made to this end, but I appreciate the spiritedness with which David Lyon defends the necessity of digital sociology in his Liquid Surveillance book with Zygmunt Bauman pg 34:
Sociology is now obliged to come to terms with the digital, or miss investigating and theorizing whole swathes of significant cultural activity. To begin with, the simple fact of technological dependence has to be factored into any social explanation worth its salt. So many relationships are conducted in part – or completely – online that a sociology without Facebook and its ilk is simply inadequate. Whatever an older generation makes of it, Facebook has quickly become a basic means of communicating – of ‘connecting’, as Facebook itself rightly calls it – and is now a dimension of daily life for millions.
In my new project I’m thinking about this in terms of Digital Capitalism and what a Sociology adequate for its study would look like. I’m finding this a really useful frame of reference through which to daw together a variety of topics that have dominated my interests for some time.