Metaphorical framing of children’s digital media addiction in media discourse


  • Mersina Mujagic Pedagogical faculty, University of Bihac
  • Alma Pehlivanovic Pedagogical faculty, University of Bihac



digital addiction, conceptual metaphor, deliberate metaphor, metaphor identification


The paper investigates figurative construal of children’s excessive use of electronic devices in articles that tackle the issues of children’s media addiction, as well as concentration and attention span, which are considered to be affected by this excessive use of technology. In giving their opinion on the topic, authors of articles resort to the use conceptual metaphor – a cognitive device where more abstract concept (a target domain) is being understood through the use of another, more concrete concept (a source domain). Authentic language data reveal the use of metaphorical linguistic expressions such as ‘digital overdose’ and ‘electronic cocaine’, which send a disturbing message that children are ‘overdosing’. This detailed analysis aims to investigate: (a) the types of metaphor (according to Steen’s 2010 three-dimensional model of metaphor analysis) in articles on children’s media addiction; (b) whether ADDICTION metaphors are dominant and deliberate; (c) their communicative function – the rhetorical function intended by the authors, as well as their rhetorical effects on recipients (notably, parents);(d) the implications of their combination with other metaphors within a sentence or a paragraph; (e) the possibility of resorting to alternative metaphor use.