Undesigning the Internet: An exploratory study of reducing everyday Internet connectivity

Kelly Widdicks, Tina Ringenson, Daniel Pargman, Vishnupriya Kuppusamy, Patricia Lago

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Abstract

Internet connectivity is seamlessly integrated into many of our everyday habits and activities. Despite this, previous research has highlighted that our rather excessive Internet use is not sustainable or even always socially benecial. In this paper, we carried out an exploratory study on how Internet disconnection aects our everyday lives and whether such disconnection is even possible in today's society. Through daily surveys, we captured what Internet use means for ten participants and how this varies when they are asked to disconnect by default, and re-connect only when their Internet use is deemed as necessary.
From our study, we found that our participants could disconnect from the Internet for certain activities (particularly leisure focused), yet they developed adaptations in their lives to address the necessity of their Internet use. We elicit these adaptations into ve themes that encompass how the participants did, or did not, use the Internet based on their necessities. Drawing on these ve themes, we conclude with ways in which our study can inspire future research surrounding: Internet infrastructure limits; the promotion of slow values; Internet non-use; and the undesign of Internet services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICT4S2018. 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsBirgit Penzenstadler, Steve Easterbrook, Colin Venters, Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed
Place of PublicationToronto, Canada
PublisherEasyChair
Pages384-397
Number of pages14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Event5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability. ICT4S2018 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 15 May 201817 May 2018
Conference number: 5

Publication series

NameEPiC Series in Computing
PublisherEasyChair
Volume52
ISSN (Print)2398-7340

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability. ICT4S2018
Abbreviated titleICT4S2018
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period15/05/1817/05/18

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • sustainability
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Smart software

VU Research Profile

  • Connected World
  • Science for Sustainability

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