Vast amounts of research studying the use of social technologies have helped develop a deep, rich understanding of how such technologies mediate and are embedded in complex sociotechnical milieux. Technology use, however, is but one aspect of such systems. A less-studied complementary aspect is technology non-use. In instances where particular technologies become seemingly nearly pervasive, intentional and pointed absence of that technology becomes both analytically conspicuous and potentially informative. Examining the non-use of certain social technologies and the ramifications thereof may provide important insights to help develop a fuller understanding of the nature of sociotechnical systems.
This research contributes to and expands on the previous limited work on technology non-use, deepening our conceptualizations both of non-use and of “the user” in sociotechnical systems. Furthermore, this work offers non-use as a potentially transformative lens through which to examine long-standing issues of privacy and groups in technologically-mediated systems.
This work is supported in part by an NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) grant (collaborative with Andrea Forte). It was previously supported in part by an NSF Cyber-Human Systems (CHS) grant.
Patrick Skeba, Devansh Saxena, Shion Guha, and Eric P. S. Baumer. (2021). Who Has a Choice?: Survey-Based Predictors of Volitionality in Facebook Use and Non-use. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 5, GROUP: 223:1-223:25.
Patrick Skeba and Eric P. S. Baumer. (2020). Informational Friction as a Lens for Studying Algorithmic Aspects of Privacy. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 4, CSCW.
Devansh Saxena, Patrick Skeba, Shion Guha, and Eric P. S. Baumer. (2020). Methods for Generating Typologies of Non/use. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 3, CSCW.
Eric P. S. Baumer, Patrick Skeba, Shion Guha, and Geri Gay. (2019). All Users are (Not) Created Equal: Predictors Vary for Different Forms of Facebook Non/use. Proceedings of the ACM Human-Computer Interaction 2, CSCW.
Eric P. S. Baumer, Rui Sun, and Peter Schaedler. (2018). Departing and Returning: Sense of Agency as an Organizing Concept for Understanding Social Media Non/use Transitions. Proceedings of the ACM: Human-Computer Interaction 1, CSCW: 23:1-23:19.
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Eric P. S. Baumer, Xiaotong Xu, Christine Chu, Shion Guha, and Geri K. Gay. (2017). When Subjects Interpret the Data: Social Media Non-use as a Case for Adapting the Delphi Method to CSCW. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW). (Portland, OR).