Saturday, November 28, 2015

Non-use of technology

Periodically, I do a “fast” of Facebook or Blogging.  I sign off.  But when I return, there’s just as much posting as before.  Maybe more.  It’s a bit like a diet.  I can do it for awhile. In the “old” days, people gave up watching TV.  I can see myself in most of these studies.  Read on.

Resistance, addiction, and identity

“There are a number of studies that have focused on cases of deliberate, even conspicuous, non-use, as in when people swear off e-mail during their vacation or give up Facebook for Lent. In these cases of deliberate refusal of a technology, one of the key traits of the individual is her or his ability to resist the temptation of using technology. Approaches that frame (social) media and technology use as addiction fall into this mold (e.g., Andreassen, et al., 2012; Stieger, et al., 2013).

In other cases, non-use may represent an individual’s attempt to regain (a sense of) self-control over their own technology use (e.g., Ames, 2013; Baumer, et al., 2013; Schoenebeck, 2014). In many of these cases, the discourse is one of control. Because the resulting non-use may be partial or negotiated, these kinds of studies tend not to frame “use” as a monolithic concept for which non-use is the binary opposite.

Moving beyond the individual, the voluntary non-use of technology may function as the production or performance of a particular sociocultural identity. For instance, abstention from Facebook becomes an act of performing a particular identity, one bound up with “conspicuous non-consumption” and a rejection of neoliberal values of commodification (Portwood-Stacer, 2013).

Non-use (and use) of the smartphone app Grindr also figures prominently in partners’ negotiations about the status of their own relationship (Brubaker, et al., 2014). In another example, the Christian period of Lent becomes, for some, an occasion to limit use of social media (Schoenebeck, 2014).”

I tried to resist and regain power over my life, but just now I posted on Facebook:

Donald Trump is such a jerk, and he's the perfect Trojan Horse (for those who haven't studied history, that is not a condom but a trick) that the Democrats will use to elect Hillary. This woman has committed more crimes than most people already incarcerated, and will complete what Obama has left unfinished.

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