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Away and (Dis)connection: Reconsidering the Use of Digital Technologies in Light of Long-term Outdoor Activities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, E-ISSN 2573-0142, Vol. 3, article id 230Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a study of long-term outdoor activities, based on altogether 34 interviews with 19 participants. Our goal was not only to explore these enjoyable experiences, but more broadly to examine how technology use was recontextualized 'away' from the everyday. Outdoor activities are commonly presented as an escape from our technology-infused world. In contrast, our interviews reveal experiences that are heavily dependent on technology, both digital and not. However, digital technology - and in particular the mobile phone - is reconfigured when taken out of its ordinary, often urban and indoor, context. We first present a diversity of 'aways' during outdoor activities by depicting cherished freedoms and interpersonal preferences. We then describe how participants managed connection and disconnection while away and upon coming back. To conclude, we discuss how constructions of away can support more purposeful engagements with digital technology, and how pointed (dis)connection can be useful for technology design also in non-outdoor settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 3, article id 230
Keywords [en]
Outdoors, nature, away, disconnection, non-use, mobile phone
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Information Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177136DOI: 10.1145/3361111OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177136DiVA, id: diva2:1379856
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved

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