Page 1

Designing to Expose the Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture Kezra Cornell


Designing to Expose the Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture Kezra Cornell Department of Graphic Design College of Design North Carolina State University

25 April 2014 Submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of Graphic Design

Denise Gonzales Crisp Committee Chair Professor of Graphic Design

Santiago Piedrafita Associate Professor of Graphic Design

Scott Townsend Associate Professor of Graphic Design


Table of Contents 03 ABSTRACT

37

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

37

Illustrating Scenarios

44

Informing the User

05 JUSTIFICATION

44 Investigating Behaviors

05

Tethered Self

45

Analysis and Taxonomy of System Features

05

The Fear of Missing Out

51

FINAL DESIGN

71

CONCLUSION

05 Belonging 05

The New Connectivity

06

Hyperconnectivity

09

RESEARCH QUESTION

11

DEFINING THE ANXIETIES

73 References 11 “Anxiety is Part of the New Connectivity”

79 Appendix A: Market Review 95

Appendix B: Market Review Analysis

12

Anxiety of Always

99

Appendix C: Survey

14

Connectivity Anxiety

105

Appendix D: Interview with Facebook User

15

Response Anxiety

113

Acknowledgments

19

WHAT IS EXPERIENCE DESIGN?

19

What Design Can Do

20

Finding Balance

21

Designing Anti-anxiety Artifacts

22

Exposing the Issue to Experience Designers

25

ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS

27

METHODS

27

Market Review

28

Survey

28

Interview with a Facebook User

29

Understanding Relationships through Diagrams

29

Applying Activity Theory

30

Mapping Scenarios


ABSTRACT

Anxieties feelings of anxiousness

The goal of this thesis is to inform experience designers by defining anxieties and identify-

and stress relating to expectations of

ing behaviors and functions of social networking site (SNS) applications that elevate these

relationships from the constant presence of a smartphone and ability to connect at anytime (Turkle, 2011).

anxieties. This thesis investigates anxieties—Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety—resulting from interactions on SNS applications. It uses the Activity Theory framework to reveal the connection between human needs and motivations for using

Anxiety of Always involves constructing an online identity, maintaining a permanent archive of personal data, managing visibility

SNS, and the resulting anxieties associated with SNS use based on the activity executed. My aim is to help experience designers anticipate consequential anxieties of designed products.

of personal data, and documenting activities. These actions induce symptoms of elevated

Through a website prototype, I introduce my findings of what the anxieties are and how

self-consciousness, constant reputation

they relate to experience design. From this introduction, I discuss how the operations—

maintenance, and a mistrust of privacy.

or subconscious behaviors of users—are the impetuses for stimulating certain anxieties.

Connectivity Anxiety connectivity

Through scenarios and provocations, I present four of the common operations—document-

enabled by social networking applications

ing, hashtagging, liking, and phone checking—to reveal how a user’s everyday interactions

influence a user’s accessibility to others,

with the smartphone SNS applications elevate the anxieties.

belongingness, social status, and device dependency. Connectivity allows individuals to always be with someone, even when they

The thesis is a prototype for an interactive, live website that would evolve and grow through

are alone in the physical space.

participant contribution. Participants would add possible symptoms of the anxieties, and

Response Anxiety cultural and societal conditions have created perceived expectations of obligations, anticipation,

map scenarios using a diagram that applies Activity Theory. The commentary and rhetoric of the website intend to provoke conversation among experience designers as they contemplate the consequences of the products they design for social use.

and productivity as it concerns responses from another user which results in symptoms of apnea, nervous and anxious feelings in anticipation of response, and

Keywords: Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, Response Anxiety, Activity Theory, anxiety, application, elevate, experience design, operation, scenario, and social networking site (SNS).

disrupted attention.

ABSTRACT

3


JUSTIFICATION

Tethered Self Smartphones a hand-held mobile device

The proliferation of smartphones increases access to social networking sites (SNS). The

that allows the user a wide range of

smartphone becomes the channel to connect with others, resulting in a “tethered self,”

functions, including making phone calls, taking pictures, and connecting to the

attached to the smartphone because of the connection it provides. The tethered self is

Internet. Uses small software applications

simultaneously connected and isolated; connected to others through the digital space, but

called apps to facilitate various functions

isolated in the physical space (Turkle, 2011).

(Raine and Wellman, 2012).

Social Networking Service/Site (SNS)

The habit of frequently checking smartphones for the latest status updates fuels the user’s

online platform or service that allows

anxieties to stay informed, and to be always available, as the user becomes accustomed to

members to create personal profiles to

this type of connecting. The state of the tethered self does not come without consequences

connect and communicate with others in

(Turkle, 2011). Anxiousness experienced by the user increases the earlier he/she adopts

a social way. Some examples of these are Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram

connectivity technologies (Rosen, et al., 2013).

(Turkle, 2011).

The Fear of Missing Out FOMO acronym for “Fear of Missing Out” related to social striving; the fear of missing out on an event or social experience that

The social phenomenon, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), is a side affect of connectivity that has become more relevant in recent years due to use of smartphones and increased access

is greater than what one is currently doing

to friends’ activities (Przbylksi, et al., 2013). User awareness of what other’s social status and

(Rainie and Wellman, 2012; Grohol, 2011)

activities are induce feelings of being left out if the user viewing the activity on SNS is not at

Connectivity asynchronous or synchronous communication or acknowledgment of another person or persons with a

the event. FOMO increases a user’s attempts to elevate social status, leaving the individual fearful of missing out on an event or social experience that is greater than what one is currently doing (Grohol, 2011).

smartphone (Turkle, 2011, 178)

Belonging Human beings have an innate need to belong, to fit in, and to be “part of the conversation,” which the smartphone allows with access to activity feeds on various SNS. A user can be part of conversations in a local community, at a global scale (i.e. using hashtags on Twitter), and communicate with others through various channels. With today’s smartphones, a user never has to be out of the conversation (Lee, 2013; Baumeister, Leary, 2013).

The New Connectivity Online profiles allow a user’s friends and acquaintances to view his/her activities without communicating directly. A user can broadcast events, opinions, and status updates, allowing others to view this shared content. Depending on privacy settings of his/her profile the content creator may not know who is viewing his/her shared content. Viewers can interact with shared content through an action, such as “liking,” commenting, or re-posting content. The affordance of viewing others’ life activities is addicting (Paul, 2012; Turkle, 2011;

JUSTIFICATION

5


Wortham, 2011). Viewing other’s life activities to this degree intensifies awareness of others’ lives, resulting in jealousy, loneliness, depression, and elevates newer forms of anxieties,

Loneliness feelings of depression and

such as FOMO (Grohol, 2011; Przybylski et. al, 2013; Wortham, 2011). There are other anxiet-

anxiousness when one’s presence is not

ies relating to FOMO, constant connectivity, and ubiquitous smartphones that are elevated

acknowledged by another (Turkle, 2011).

due to SNS features set in place. The Anxiety of Always is elevated due to the permanent archive of data, and erasing data becomes perpetual maintenance. Connectivity Anxiety is elevated by the fear of isolation and knowing others are viewing shared content, leading to projecting a certain social status online. Response Anxiety is elevated by the expectations of reciprocated communication, and awaiting replies (Turkle, 2011, 16, 166, 176, 178, 182). Depending on the context of the relationship and communication technology used, ubiquitous technology can have some benefits. Social anxieties occurring in face-to-face communication can be reduced by communicating via forms of text-based media such as: email, text messaging, or short messaging services (Pierce, 2009). The ubiquity of smartphones and the “always on” status has some benefits

Ubiquity pervasive and ever-present

(Turkle, 2011, 154, 243). Fraser and Donna Reid’s study of the affordances of mobile messag-

technologies and networks (Carr, 2011, 111).

ing revealed that the use of short messaging services (SMS) allowed close relationships to be stronger because people felt more comfortable talking about intimate details through the device, rather than face-to-face (2010). The distance afforded by the device allows the user to

SMS short messaging service often used through use of Internet and communication technologies, such as text messaging or

speak more freely, to think about his/her word choices, and anticipate the reader’s reaction.

instant messaging (Rainie and Wellman,

This distance allows both people in the relationship to become closer when they are not in

2012, 89).

the same space. Smartphone ubiquity also leads to new types of connections and modes of communication that were not possible before the Internet, such as Instagram followers who include acquaintances and possible future friends; or communicating through a service like Snapchat with images, sound, and drawings erased after viewing (2010).

Internet a virtual space connected through cloud computing that enables information to be shared and accessed globally (Turkle, 2011).

Hyperconnectivity Hyperconnectivity, being connected to multiple persons through various modes of commu-

Hyperconnectivity using multiple modes

nication simultaneously, allows Millenials (young adults ages 18-34 who have lived most

of communication for frequently checking in

of their life with the Internet) to have diverse and broad social networks, giving access to resources that were not possible before the presence of SNS systems (Rainie and Wellman, 2012, 13, 119). Furthermore, SNS and smartphones have encouraged frequency of engagements in real spaces, as a user can contact friends easily and quickly, but also influence the expectations of accessibility and the desired social status elevating symptoms of Connectivity Anxiety (2012, 12, 119). Lee Rainie, director of Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, and Barry Wellman, a sociologist and director of the NetLab at University of Toronto, include two excerpts of young, hyperconnected students self-reporting their daily communicative and connected activities for research, in their book Networked: The New Social Operating System (2012). The participants kept a log of their interactions with friends and family through various com-

6

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

with various types of relationships (often via ICTs) (Anderson, & Rainie, 2012).


munication tools, often using their smartphone or computer. In each excerpt, anxieties were evident. The first account is about a busy student who is in constant communication with various individuals, through several communication modes, while at work and school. Reflecting on her day, she realizes the prevalence of personal communication: Looking at her day, Maya says that three things strike her. First, she is surprised by “just how much personal communication interweaves into my day.” Moreover, many of those communications are covert: “I technically shouldn’t be having so much personal communication during the work day, and I shouldn’t be having any during class.” Still, technology has made all this easy to conceal, and in so doing, her personal communications are not very disruptive to anyone other than Maya. She is carrying her personal network with her and maintaining ties efficiently. (Rainie and Wellman, 112) Maya blames herself for another disruptive interaction she unintentionally fell into by conFacebook is an online social network

stantly checking her email and Facebook (2012, 109-113). This snapshot of a young, hypercon-

platform that allows members to post

nected individual suggests the benefits of multi-modal communication, as well as the disrup-

photos, videos, links, and information about

tive, overwhelming feelings it instigates. Maya experiences Response and Connectivity Anxiety

themselves. Having friends on this network allows members to view status updates

in her need to check email and Facebook due to her response obligations and the perceived

in the “News Feed” to stay in touch with

expectations from her friends. Raine and Wellman argue that it is not technology that users are

friends and keep up with friends (Rainie and

dependent on, but rather the connection that devices afford. However, this level of connectivity

Wellman, 2012).

is exponentially greater than what humans are used to, so smartphone and SNS connectivity are no doubt changing the way we interact and socialize with others (2012, 6). In a second account, a student is trying to study yet is constantly distracted by keeping up with plans for the holiday break. When she runs into a friend, she chats with him for an hour and admits that having multiple conversations at once regarding the event plans becomes overwhelming, a consequence of Response Anxiety. After being in the library alone for less than two hours, she feels the need to check in with friends to meet up before her next class. This “short-term loneliness” suggests that Millenials are accustomed to being in constant conversation all day, a habit related to Connectivity Anxiety (Turkle, 2011, 243; Buckley, 2010). Without constant contact with others, some Millenials experience loneliness and feel unstable when alone (2012, 245-251). Being hyperconnected without the physical presence of others can induce fatigue from

ICT Internet and communication

communicating by way of Internet communication technologies (ICTs) (2012). ICTs and

technologies such as mobile messaging

SNS reduce the intimacy of communication to a transaction (Baym, 2010, 70). According to

(Rainie and Wellman, 2012, 9).

Rainie and Wellman’s research, replying immediately and communicating through multiple modes is cognitively exhausting and induces Response Anxiety. Even the most active networked individuals desire human presence and interaction (2012, 9).

JUSTIFICATION

7


From these excerpts, Rainie and Wellman provide evidence that Millenials have a difficult time disconnecting and spending time alone. The psychological and social consequences of hyperconnectivity has an unknown outcome as this affordance of technology is somewhat new (ibid, 2012).

8

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


RESEARCH QUESTION

How can user activity involving smartphone social networking applications be investigated to inform and expose the consequences of the Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety to experience designers? SUB QUESTION 1 How can Activity Theory help to clarify specific behaviors and relationships between the user and smartphone social applications to inform experience designers of motivations for use? SUB QUESTION 2 How can scenarios of smartphone social networking actions allow experience designers to relate and identify details of behaviors that relate to the Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety to anticipate consequences of use? SUB QUESTION 3 How can commentary of designed user actions expose the meanings designers imply in the visual graphics of the interface?

RESEARCH QUESTION

9


DEFINING THE ANXIETIES

“Anxiety is Part of the New Connectivity” Turkle introduces the consequences of connectivity as anxieties: Anxiety is part of the new connectivity. Yet, it is often the missing term when we talk about the revolution in mobile communications. Our habitual narratives about technology begin with respectful disparagement of what came before and move on to idealize the new. So, for example, online reading with its links and hypertext possibilities, often receives a heroic, triumphalist narrative, while the book is disparaged as ‘disconnected.’ That narrative goes something like this: the old reading was linear and exclusionary; the new reading is democratic as every text opens out to linked pages—chains of new ideas. But this of course, is only one story, the one technology wants to tell. There is another story. The book is connected to daydreams and personal associations as readers look within themselves. Online reading—at least for the high school and college students I have studied—always invites you elsewhere. And it is only sometimes interrupted by linking to reference works and associated commentaries. More often, it is broken up by messaging, shopping, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. This ‘other story’ is complex and human. But it is not part of the triumphalist narrative in which every new technological affordance meets an opportunity, never a vulnerability, never an anxiety. (Turkle, 242) Turkle points out that current discussion among technologists can tend to be idealistic and does not always address the negative consequences. Turkle’s idea that connectivity is stimulating or inflating existing anxieties directed me to identify the symptoms, conditions, and behaviors of these anxieties (2012, 242). I began to dissect each of the anxieties I observed in the research by looking for overlapping symptoms in multiple studies and investigating specific features of smartphone SNS applications. The taxonomy of SNS features (figure 1) that elevate certain anxieties expanded throughout my process as I did a market review and organized specific SNS features that contribute to certain anxieties. I took some creative freedom in interpreting what features could elevate or mitigate anxieties, as the research did not specify all SNS features that currently exist.

DEFINING THE ANXIETIES

11


Turkle created the term “Anxiety of Always.” Her research further identified two other major categories of anxieties I labeled, “Connectivity Anxiety” and “Response Anxiety” (2011, 242). Drawing from Turkle’s work as a sociologist focusing on human relationships with technology, I charted the features of SNS applications, wearable devices, and notification devices, in terms of their potential to elevate specific anxieties. I mapped the devices in matrices to compare their potential to increase certain anxieties (Appendix B). Comparing the devices in these matrices revealed each device’s anxiety-increasing functions and anxiety-mitigating functions, giving me a range of features that contribute to or mitigate the anxieties. For example, an archive of personal data that follows a user throughout his/her life with no expiration date (i.e. Facebook’s timeline), contributes to self-consciousness, self-monitoring, and perpetual reputation maintenance which can result in anxious feelings in the user. A user may become more self-aware, as personal things they do not want the world to know about are more likely to be exposed. The opposite of this would be a system that has no permanent archive, for example SnapChat, a picture and video messaging service that deletes the message after it is viewed. A recipient can only view the message once, with no archive to re-read. The matrix to the right identifies specifics—system functions and user actions—that elevate and mitigate anxieties. These specifics were found in research, revealed in my market review, and observed in the interview I conducted (figure 1).

Figure 1 Matrix of system features and user actions

Anxiety of Always

that elevate and mitigate anxieties.

Turkle’s term “Anxiety of Always” addresses the archive and permanence of data stored in most SNS. The “electronic trace” a user leaves will follow he/she wherever he/she goes online (Bollmer, 2013; 2011, 259-260). This permanent archive prompts online reputation maintenance and elevates self-consciousness of a user’s shared content. There are five main activities that contribute to the Anxiety of Always that involve creating an online identity, maintaining the archive of data, and the degree to which a user shares about his/ her life (Downes, 2010; Dijck, 2013; Lee, 2013; Zhao, 2008). Identity construction affects an individual’s self-esteem and the perception of self through the

Identity Construction: production of

views of others. Constant presentation of self to others online adds stress to how a user constructs

online identity through posting content,

his/her identity, and affects the user’s honesty in transparency of self (Turkle, 2011, 160). Identity construction is co-created with friends on social networks who comment, like, add hashtags, or

autobiographical information and often involves filling in blanks on a pre-formatted profile template provided. This is the self-

tag individuals in the content shared (Bowler, et al., 2011). The type of information required to

concept that is the self as perceived by

construct an identity, explicit or implicit, influences the honesty of the user’s online profile. Explicit

others. (Turkle, 2011; Zhao, 2008).

statements, such as autobiographical statements, birthdate, interests; seem higher risk to individuals and increase self-consciousness. Implicit profile content, such as images, liked content, or

Self-Esteem: evaluations of self influenced by personality, emotions, and

shared third party content, allows a user to indirectly construct his/her identity, allowing more flex-

judgement by others (Steinfield, et al.,

ibility to construct an “ideal self.” The user’s actions involved in identity construction include status

2008)

updating, sharing expressions, liking, and adding metadata to shared content (Zhao, 2008). Data erasure involves the maintenance to delete content associated with a user’s online pro-

12

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Connectivity enabled by social networking applications influence a user’s accessibility to others, belongingness, social status, and device dependency. Connectivity allows individuals to always be with someone, even when they are alone in the physical space.

Connectivity Anxiety

Response anxiety encompasses communication with others and with an individual’s device. Cultural and societal conditions have created perceived expectations of obligations, anticipation, and productivity as it concerns responses. It is difficult to avoid response anxiety as it has become ingrained in the communication etiquette and has not been challenged.

Response Anxiety

• directed messages

• managing visibility of data

• capturing to share

• hashtagging

• difficulty of erasure task

• metadata attached to shared

• hashtagging

• infinite scroll

• ubiquitous

• enables communication

• visibility of others’ activity

User Actions

• metadata commenting

• liking

• status updating

• notification settings

• scrolling

• phone checking

• smartphone dependency

System Features

notifications

• encouragement of push

notifications

• sound and vibration

• direct messages

• broadcast messages

delivered

• confirmation of information

• obtrusive alerts

User Actions

• liking

• phone checking apnea

• email apnea

• speed of response

• expecting response

• disrupting

• phatic sharing of expression

• status update

• keeping content private

• documenting motivated by experience instead of intent to share

• erasure of content

• content is completely private

• cataloged by user

• erasure is automated

• turn off internet access

• creating phone free zone

• specifying quiet time

• slow scrolling

• disconnect

• infrequent phone checks

• turning off phone

User Actions

information

• no visible cues to unread

• no delivery confirmation

• no notifications

System Features

Turkle, Sherry. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books. Stone, L. (2008). Just breathe: Building the case for email apnea. Retrieved February, 7, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-stone/just-breathe-building-the_b_85651.html Rainie, Lee and Wellman, Barry. (2012). Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press.

• phatic purpose of use

• limited visibility of other’s activity

• time limit

System Features

Amichai-Hamburger, Y., & Ben-Artzi, E. (2003). Loneliness and internet use. Computers in Human Behavior, 19, 71-80. Mueller, B. (2012). The lonely society: I share, therefore I am. but what does digital technology really cost us? Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www.design.philips.com/sites/philipsdesign/ about/design/designnews/newvaluebydesign/december2012/the_lonely_society.page Rushkoff, Douglas. (2013). Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. New York: Penguin Group.

• no archive

User Actions

System Features

• infrequent phone checks

• customize notifications

• ignore notifications

expectations

• lowering response

User Actions

- - MITIGATES ANXIETIES - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

• camera functions

• searchable archives

• electronic trace

• metadata commenting

• status updating

• linear archive (time)

content

• broadcasted messages

• reflecting

• visibility

System Features

• documenting

• permanence

• accessibility to network

User Actions

System Features

+ + ELEVATES ANXIETIES + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The Anxiety of Always involves constructing an online identity, maintaining a permanent archive of personal data, managing visibility of personal data, and documenting activities. These actions induce symptoms of elevated self-consciousness, constant reputation maintenance, and a mistrust of privacy.

Anxiety of Always

ANXIETIES ASSOCIATED with SMARTPHONE USE


file. Data erasure involves a house cleaning that happens every few months when a user is reflecting, and notices things he/she wants to change or remove from his/her current online archive. The permanence of the archive of shared content can increase the Anxiety of Always as it creates a digital trace and accessible scrapbook of a user’s life. A user may untag shared content if he/she does not want to be associated with it, or delete status updates that no longer aligns with his/her projected ideal self. The permanence of the data can have long term conditions of reputation management, which leads to the user being more critical of what information is shared or changing his/her perceptions of what information should be kept private or public (Turkle, 2011, 255-256, 259-260). User action includes adding metadata or

Metadata (also known as tagging), data

erasing it, deleting past status updates, editing profiles, or untagging associated content.

about data; allows for categorizing original

Visibility to others refers to frequency and level of honesty of personal data that a user

data in an archive using keywords or associating the original data with persons (Bowler, et al., 2011).

shares with SNS applications. The type of data shared, either explicit statements or implicit associations, affects the perceived transparency of the individual. For some, visibility may elevate self-esteem issues and self-consciousness in presentation of self. Visibility and perceived transparency of a user’s life allows for more opportunities of appreciation and affection, encouraging the user to be visible to receive rewards. The type of content and how frequently the user posts contribute to visibility. (Young, 2012; Zhao, 2008). Actions on SNS include status updating and documenting. Self Documentation is the activity of taking a picture or video of one’s self, either with or without others in the frame, to share a self-portrait with others through SNS. This activity is commonly known as “selfies.” Selfies are a necessary part of identity construction and allow visibility of self to others. Actions include documentation, hashtags and status updates. Documentation is a way for a user to express him/herself through capturing daily activities, events, and people in his/her life. These images are curated and edited to portray an ideal version of the self appropriate to be archived and shared. Curation and documentation may become an obsession among some to increase social capital and portray an ideal self to

Social Capital expected benefits of

others to validate his/her social status (Turkle, 2011, 176; Young, 2012). Actions include doc-

collective resources from building one’s

umenting and status updating.

network, either online or offline (Raine and Wellman, 2012).

Connectivity Anxiety Connectivity allows individuals to always be with someone (Turkle, 2011; Raine and Wellman, 2012). Connectivity involves relationship maintenance with friends and family that motivate a

Relationship Maintenance continuous

user to stay connected through multiple communication channels. Connectivity Anxiety focuses

communication and interaction with others

on social connectivity enabled by SNS, and how that connection influences user accessibility, belongingness, social status, and device dependency. Connectivity Anxiety is elevated by four key interactions with SNS that vary by user personality and expectations including degree of connectivity, desire to be part of the larger conversation, and attaining the desired social status. Accessibility is implied as constant due to the ubiquity of the smartphone. A user can be

14

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

to maintain ties with that person or persons often done with multiple mediums (Baym, et al., 2007; Haythornthwaite, 2005).


accessed without restriction to time or location. In asynchronous communication, a user is not always expected to direct all of his/her attention to the SNS, as he/she may be checking his/her smartphone during a face-to-face conversation. Pressure and perceived expectations from work, friends, or family to be always accessible and always on results in stress or anxiousness when the user’s available time overwhelms his/her life (Turkle, 2011, 280; Rainie and Wellman, 2012, 12). Actions involve social grooming, liking, and phone checking. Belongingness is a human need to be a part of a community and interact with other humans (Baumeister and Leary, 1995; McLeod, 2014). Belonging means that the user expects to be aware of others’ daily activities, maintain relationships through communication, and keep up with culture and news that is relevant to his/her social circles. When one is “out of the loop” he/she misses out on conversation and cannot actively participate in the discussion. Attending and being invited to events is also crucial to one’s sense of belongingness, as social status is validated if one knows he/she is wanted at social events. Each individual has a different level of need in belonging. Some individuals need to communicate with several people in ongoing conversations daily, while others need small doses of human interaction (Turkle, 2011, 288-289). Actions on SNS include hyperconnectivity communicating, liking, scrolling, and phone checking. Social status is the perceived status within the social hierarchy of a group. Social status can affect a user’s sense of belonging and self-esteem. A common concern in social status achievement is the Fear of Missing Out, where an individual is incessantly worrying that they are missing out on an event that will benefit his/her social status (Paul, 2012; Turkle, 2011, 280; Young, 2012, 58-59). Social status is perceived through documentation of self or documenting the event as evidence. Actions include documenting and status updating. Device dependency is a consequence of an individual’s use of the smartphone to stay connected, gain a sense of belonging, and to maintain or increase social status. For some, this means habitual use of the device to connect, communicate, and observe what others are doing. For others, device dependency may arise or increase through repetitive use. For example, if several people within a group check their smartphone during a lull in conversation, it prompts the people around them to also check their smartphone. In this case the device is serving an immediate need that leads to increased device dependency over time; using the device as a security blanket in uncomfortable situations (Turkle, 2011, 245, 280). User actions on SNS involve phone checking, likes, and scrolling.

Response Anxiety Response Anxiety encompasses communication with others and attention to smartphone notifications. Cultural and societal conditions have created obligations to respond, instilled anxiety in waiting for responses, and fabricated expectations of response time. It is difficult to avoid Response Anxiety as it has become ingrained in

DEFINING THE ANXIETIES

15


today’s communication etiquette. Response Anxiety involves three activities encompassing various communication behaviors. Obligation to respond is usually associated with the time it takes to reply. Responding quickly signifies that the user is available and has time to communicate. The more prompt and quick a response to a message appears the more productive and timely the respondent seems to be. To be polite, most individuals want to respond promptly, but some individuals feel they are obligated to reply immediately, which results in constant disruption of ongoing activities or incomplete communication. Obligations to respond also lead to device dependency and constant accessibility (Turkle, 2011, 166). User actions include phone checking. Anticipation of the awaited response causes anxiety and worry relating to what the reply might be. Anticipation varies depending on the nature of the communication and each user’s expectations of the unknown answer. Anticipation leads to device dependency as the user will check his/her smartphone constantly to see if the response has been delivered, or if the receiver has viewed it (Lanier, 2010; Stone, 2008; Turkle, 2011). This anticipation can manifest itself in unhealthy habits while checking the device; for example holding one’s breath in anticipation of the response to an important message (Stone, 2008). User actions include phone checking apnea—holding his/her breath or deterring exhalation upon checking the phone—and scrolling. Productivity is perceived by others through the way a user handles responses. If a user responds promptly, he/she is perceived as productive. If an individual does not respond promptly, he/she is perceived as either busy or unproductive. A user strives to have ideal productivity by adhering to prompt response expectations, however this may not mean they are actually productive. Perceived productivity influences an individual’s social status and reliability. Productivity may also be aided by devices, as they serve as memories, schedules, and reminds a user when he/she needs to complete a task. The dependence on the device may be influenced by an individual’s strive towards maximum productivity (Young, 2010). Actions on SNS include phone checking and responding to notifications.

Notifications alert that notifies user there is new content for them to view, another user has interacted with their content, or another user is contacting them.

16

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


WHAT IS EXPERIENCE DESIGN?

Experience design practices design as creating parameters that enhance or enable the experience of the user. Experience design may be embedded in a product, a service, a system, an environment, or a screen. It is a complex area of design as it encompasses the entire story and atmosphere of human interactions with the environment, and considers emotions, human need, and the goal or task a user is engaging with in the designed experience for (Hassenzahl, 2013). This area is rich in opportunities for exploration. Experience design stems from the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and usability design. Experience design is more concerned with telling the story of the action, whereas HCI is concerned with the efficiency and comfort of use. Experience design is more inclusive of the aesthetics, what the user does, what the user thinks, the user’s motives for use, the user’s cognition in use, and the user’s consciousness of the action (Hassenzahl, 2013; Lanier, 2010).

What Design Can Do Experience Designers anticipate behaviors and design interactions involving the user and product or service to achieve a certain goal (Fabricant, 2013). The ubiquity of designed devices and SNS presents designers with a responsibility to understand and anticipate the consequences of his/her decisions. Technology and the interface shapes the behavior of the user, and the user shapes the use and meanings associated with the technology; therefore, the design decisions affect humans and vice versa (Herman, 2010; Knight, 2008; Lanier, 2010; Turkle, 2011; Thackara, 2005). Consequences of use over time of these new devices are unpredictable as humans are unpredictable, and designers can only speculate about the consequences of the new connectivity. Experience designers can begin to discuss and become informed if they open a dialogue about consequences of Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety. Most smartphone applications with which a user interacts daily encourage efficiency, speed, alertness, convenience, and accessibility. Artists, sociologists, psychologists, users, and designers are starting to notice the affect of these tools on the user’s life and how the tool interferes with the balance between connectivity and disconnected space. Smartphones house most of the convenient, efficient transactions a user partakes in daily and it has become a very important digital object to a user, some might say cherishable (Golsteijn, et al., 2012; Turkle, 2011). As the smartphone becomes more important to a user, he/she tightens the tether and attachment to it. Social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram are accessible through the smartphone, and allow the user to keep up with friends, plan events, and communicate through these platforms. I see the

WHAT IS EXPERIENCE DESIGN?

19


need to engage in a critical dialogue about the design of the smartphone, the design of SNS, and how repetitive SNS interactions feed the anxieties.

Finding Balance As the user becomes more aware of how SNS interactions affect his/her relationships, they is asking for alternatives to help he/she experience connectivity without the associated anxieties (Cederberg and Woodman, 2013). Finding a balance between connection and solitude can be difficult, when connection with others—provided by the accessibility of smartphones—is so easy. My investigation, then, does not aim to discourage use of these tools. The user has agency to turn off alerts and notifications or to set aside periods of disconnection to mitigate these anxieties, but are there ways that interactions and obligations to these networks can be challenged? Creating a culture that does not have high expectations of response time and demand perpetual accessibility can be introduced by starting a dialogue among experience designers that addresses these anxieties and challenges the status quo of SNS interface design. As a behavior influencer, designers need to respond to the current state of society. As mentioned previously, most Millenials are connected, always on, and share personal data (Anderson and Rainie, 2012). To combat some of the adverse effects of these behaviors, designers are creating opportunities to slow down, be present, and disconnect periodically (Zara, 2013)

Designing Anti-Anxiety Artifacts As one response to this situation, “anti-anxiety” artifacts are becoming more prevalent as designers and artists are aware of the current cultural climate of productivity, hyperconnectivity, and accessibility (Zara, 2013). These artifacts attempt to facilitate a time that is more in tune with our bodies and minds allowing for reflection, silence and a more sustainable pace of life (Zara, 2013). Creating alternatives to the current mode of ‘constant connection’ will allow for a healthier balance of connectivity and availability with quiet time, solitude, and reflection. Nuna, a design project by Guri Vendstad, a School of Visual Arts Interaction Design Masters student, focuses on how customized notifications connected to a smartphone can be subtle and invisible to others. Nuna is a wearable adhesive patch that uses vibration, temperature change, and compression to notify the user about various things such as weather, proximity of friends, incoming messages, reminders and other things that are helpful to know about, but do not need immediate interactions with a smartphone (figure 2, fig-

Figure 2

ure 3). The invisibility of the patch allows the user to keep notifications concealed, in

Nuna system

contrast to a smartphone’s vibration or a smartwatch’s blinking screen. The volume of the notification is lowered, which reduces distractions from what the user is currently doing. Also, stimulating the sense of touch is unique as the smartphone and other devices often

20

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

Figure 3 Nuna haptic temperature patch prototype


stimulate the visual and audible senses. Nuna creates an intimate relationship between user and device by placing the patch on the skin (2013). Designers have also responded to these anxieties with artifacts that include: Ostrich Pillow, a wearable head pillow (figure 4), allowing the wearer to block out noise and instantly nap anywhere; Ex-Lover Blocker, an accountability app that publicly shames the user for contacting

WHAT IS EXPERIENCE DESIGN?

21


ex-lovers; and the Kill Switch app, which retracts all status updates from ex-lovers (figure 5)

Figure 4

(DM9ĂŠDDB and GuaranĂĄ Antarctica 2012; Kawamura-Ganjavian, 2013; Mannherz, 2013).

Ostrich Pillow

Exposing the Issue to Experience Designers These tools approach the problem of saving the user from him/herself by increasing accountability, as well as shielding, blocking, and separating the user from the device. These are all helpful aids when the user feels as though he/she has lost control and lacks the consciousness to change bad habits. I have more faith in the user and see he/she as being more in control of his/her habits than these solutions give credit for. I do not want to approach the user as someone needing to be saved. Rather, I want to address the problem from the source. This means addressing the experience designers creating the tools, those who lead to these bad habits and constant connectivity. Beginning the discussion with experience designers will in turn benefit the user. I do not see the value of creating band-aid solutions to problems that experience designers had an influence in designing. My goal in this proposed website is not to design a solution, but to expose the issues; to begin a conversation that affects change among the experience design community. The user has control and agency to delete SNS accounts, remove the application, or disconnect. The user does not need help in mitigating these anxieties, as once he/she is conscious of the operative behaviors, he/she will take control and change behavior (Cohen, 2012; Roche and Hutchinson, 2013; Tell, 2013). If experience designers begin this conversation now, they can prepare and anticipate consequences of the future connected user.

22

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

Figure 5 Screenshots from the Kill Switch app


WHAT IS EXPERIENCE DESIGN?

23


ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS

The generation that is adapting these technologies quickly and acquiring these behaviors are Millenials young adults ages 18-34, growing

Millenials (Downes, 2010). Millenials have grown up familiar with connectivity and normal-

up with the Internet or experiencing most

ized associated behaviors through access to the Internet. It has become acceptable to check

of their lives when the Internet existed (Sheldon, 2012).

one’s phone while talking with a friend, check Facebook during class, and text continuously. Millenials are more likely to be active on SNS and use text messaging more frequently than other generations (Anderson and Rainie, 2012; Dugan, 20130). The definition of anxiety I am employing in my investigation relates to the need or anxiousness of individuals to interact with the smartphones to connect or keep up with relationships (Turkle, 2011). Anxieties related to habits of interacting with smartphones is present and observable in multiple studies; therefore, it is a relevant issue to investigate (Turkle, 2011; Rainie and Wellman, 2012; Rosen, et al., 2013). Using Baumeister and Leary’s theory on belongingness, I relied on their evidence that humans want to belong to a group and maintain strong relationships (1995). I also used Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” to understand the basic, human motivations to engage with SNS on smartphones (McLeod, 2014). I am assuming that a user of SNS and short messaging services (SMS), such as text messaging, are using these services to gratify their need to belong (Turkle, 2011; Raine & Wellman, 2012). The topic area of this thesis allows me to draw from real-life observations and conversations. Although, this anecdotal information is important, I am aware that this information is only valuable if it is coupled with and grounded in qualitative research.

ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS

25


METHODS

Market Review I conducted a market review of existing social, mobile technologies to identify and compare specific functions that could elevate or mitigate the anxieties. I created four separate categories of devices: smartphone SNS applications, wearable fitness tracking devices, wearable devices connected to the smartphone, and wearable notification devices. The assessment criteria were volume of usage, actions, degree of identity construction, cherishability, and connectivity (see Appendix A). I evaluated these categories on a scale from one to eight, eight being a strong correlation to the highest level of the criteria, and one being the lowest. Definitions of the criteria follow: • Volume is the level of activity needed from the user to interact with the device, disruptive behaviors of the device, level of obtrusiveness of notifications or use of device, and level of fragmentation of information (Rosen, Carrier, Cheever, 2013; Rushkoff 2012; Turkle, 2011). • Actions are defined by how robust the device is in tasks performed by the user, velocity of activity, and level of maintenance needed to retain activity on device (Steinfield, Ellison, Lampe, 2008; Turkle. 2011). • Identity construction is defined by profile creation through use of explicit autobiographical information or implicit information, robustness of profile, and sense of self created through interactions with device (Zhao, 2008). • Cherishability, which is a speculative evaluation, is defined by the personal relationship the user has with the device, embodied meanings a user may create through use of the device, and how the device influences the user’s identity and relationships (Golsteijn, et al., 2012). • Connectivity is defined by how the device encourages building social capital, types of relationships formed, public or private sharing of content, and encouragement to communicate and interact with others through use of the device (Haythornthwaite, 2005; Raine and Wellman, 2012; Turkle, 2011).

Evaluating existing social, mobile technologies with the above criteria revealed patterns and polarizations of devices. These discoveries led to possible motives of use and how the functions of devices can increase or mitigate anxieties.

METHODS

27


Facebook continually scored highest on all criteria, showing that it’s robustness, complexity, connectivity, visibility, and high expectations of use lead to its high level of anxiety related to connectivity, data collection, identity construction, and response obligations. Snapchat was polar to Facebook with key features of Snapchat mitigating anxieties being the temporality of the archive, limited visibility of user’s status and profile, and the low-stakes use it’s user’s have instilled through use (Appendix B).

Survey Upon further investigation of the anxieties, I sought to discover how a user engages with his/her smartphone regarding emotions and feelings by creating a survey (Appendix C). I also wanted to have insight as to how a user views his/her relationship with the smartphone. The survey asked questions relating to the user’s typical behaviors with the smartphone concerning types of communication channels that allowed genuine expression of thoughts and feelings. The answers revealed perspectives regarding communication I already knew: user’s feel they are able to communicate personal expressions through text message or an image, but the experience doesn’t compare to the actual presence of a person in face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face interactions allow for body language, scent, and touch to be read as well as the dialogue. This survey did not provide insight into how a user views his/her relationship to the smartphone, nor how he/she might experience the anxieties I have identified in his/her daily smartphone use.

Interview with a Facebook User Initially, I wanted to deploy a cultural probe to better understand user behavior with SNS, emotional responses, and what motivates interactions on SNS (Gaver, et al., 2004). I thought sending out a cultural probe to several users would better inform my understanding of normal SNS use and habits, however a cultural probe seemed problematic logistically and was an archaic form for the type of user behavior I was investigating. I was interested in getting a peek into a day in the life of a SNS user, and evidence of how his/her activity on SNS affected emotions, life offline, and sense of self. Some research has linked Facebook use to mood disorders and affecting offline life, and I wanted specific examples to draw from, similar to Rainie and Wellman’s examples of connected individuals (2012; Rosen, et al., 2013). To do this, I asked a frequent Facebook user to self-report her activity on Facebook for five consecutive days and conducted a semi-structured interview after the five days (see Appendix D). Through this research, I discovered the degree to which Facebook use and metadata conversations might affect offline life. Discussing the metadata conversation on Facebook became an important meta-conversation about this individual’s identity and reputation. The participant explained how a statement posted by an old high-school acquaintance upset her, so she felt obligated to respond through a Facebook comment to his statement, letting him know he was making an assumptive, ignorant claim. She called her brother to make sure her reply

28

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


was appropriate, and her brother informed her his friend saw the post—whom she did not know could view the post—and brought it up in conversation. She was discussing the metadata conversation happening on Facebook with family and friends offline, and was visibly upset. The interview revealed her use on the Facebook smartphone application and the desktop website varied, as she saw the mobile space for browsing, and the website space for being active in comments, posts, and reading content. This interview and study revealed the reflex or habit of checking Facebook. Facebook is the hub of social activity and a way for this participant to check in with various social circles, in one place. This idea of Facebook being the social hub or home base is supported by Raine and Wellman’s findings (2012, 143-144).

Understanding Relationships Through Diagrams Early on in my process of understanding the relationships between the user and the smartphone, I created diagrams, starting with an affinity diagram. The cause and effect relationships between user, smartphone, activity, and anxiety, evolved into matrices, flow charts, and a more refined map to help comprehend the content I was dealing with. These mapping exercises allowed me to interpret and evaluate the relationships and connections I was investigating and to further dissect how the smartphone functions and user behaviors instigate the anxieties. First, I categorized the anxieties in the context of user actions, user behaviors, system features, and specific symptoms of the conditions (figure 6). This first attempt to understand and organize the overall issue lacked an explanation of relationships between the user and the smartphone, and did not address the motivations of use. This siloed interpretation did not represent the relationships between user, SNS features, activities, and anxieties as connected, overlapping cause and affect patterns. However, it laid the groundwork for identifying specific actions related to the anxieties. I defined user motivations to interact with smartphones and carry out specific tasks by using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and focusing on the needs beyond basic survival (McLeod, 2014). I connected the motives of use based on human needs of belonging, selfesteem, individualism, and expression, to four types of activities: communicating, connecting, expressing, and sharing (figure 7).

Applying Activity Theory Activity Theory identifies the relationship between the human or subject interacting with the object, in this case the smartphone SNS application, due to various human needs, which results in an activity (figure 7). This activity is broken into smaller components of goals, actions, and may become operations that are affected by social and cultural institutions,

METHODS

29


influencing the humans needs and cycling back through. Informatics Professors Kaptelinin

Figure 6

and Nardi explain the application of Activity Theory and how it has informed interaction

Iteration one of relationships between

design. They describe that Activity Theory attempts to understand the consciousness of the user and the activity, “Activity Theory proposes that consciousness is realized by what we do in everyday practical activity” (2006, 8). Operations are subconscious actions or automated actions that can influence social and cultural settings and alter the user’s motives (2006, 62).

humans, device, behaviors and anxieties

Figure 7 Second iteration, attempting to ground relationships in Davis’ Activity Theory model

In my investigation and looking at existing studies, user habits—such as checking smartphones, scrolling, liking, documenting, and hashtagging—become routine social maintenance actions. The user does not think about the gestures or the repercussions of his/her operations over time. The user acts on a need he/she wants to fulfill, and does so as a part of his/her daily habits (Turkle, 2011). These habits are identified in the Activity Theory diagram as operations. I adapted Meredith Davis’ diagram of Activity Theory specifically for the area of experience design I am investigating (figure 8-11) (2012, 229-230). This diagram served as a guide to

Figure 8 - 11

dissect the relationship between the user, possible motivations, the SNS, user activities, goals,

Interpretation of Davis’ Activity Theory

actions, gestures, and subconscious behaviors (operations). This diagram allowed me to define how actions become operations and how those operations affect social and cultural settings, as well as the user’s motives. These operations or habits led me to believe the source of user anxieties emanates from these operations. The user may not be aware of his/her anxiety-provoking actions unless he/she is conscious of his/her feelings and effects related to the operations. My interpretation of Davis’ Activity Theory diagram, introduces a cyclical flow, with no defined starting point. For example, the task flow could begin with the goals, moving to appropriate actions, leading to possible operations. These operations change or affect social and cultural settings—such as cultural norms of use—and affect the user. The social and cultural affects can alter a user’s motives, which influences his/her use of the social software. This change in motive influences the activities he/she participates in. The anxieties are stimulated by operations which affect the user’s motives, possibly without them being aware. These relationships between operations and motives can elevate the anxieties and the user can mitigate the anxieties by becoming conscious of his/her operative behaviors and changing behavior.

Mapping Scenarios Each activity category (communicating, connecting, expressing, and sharing) has related goals, actions, and operations. Some goals, actions, and operations may overlap with activity categories, but the motives and context might be different. Sorting the specificities of goals, actions, and operations allowed me to break down and analyze the specifics that informed my written scenarios; then diagnose which anxieties might be triggered once the actions become operations.

30

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

diagram as it relates to my area of study


METHODS

31


THINKING THROUGH MAKING (DESIGN STUDIES)

Illustrating Scenarios At an early stage of my process, before I fully understood the topic area, I was inspired by speculative design projects, such as Dunne and Raby’s work on critical design (2013). I began sketching the environments, people, and technology involved in scenarios using cut paper materials. These sketches allowed me to think of the anxieties as something that affects society, culture, environments, and the user (figure 12-14). Most of my investigations were out of range of my project scope. They addressed the anxieties with a solution-oriented goal in mind. These sketches helped open up my ideas about design by telling the story through illustrations that involve a narrative inclusive of the environment, actions, character, and consequences. These storyboards encouraged me to think openly without limiting myself to my prior knowledge and codified design solutions manifested in apps and the smartphone. The investigations allowed me to think through certain scenarios that involved specific actions and behaviors relating to the anxieties. Reducing the form to simple paper faces and moving things around allowed me to adapt and explore as the story evolved. I also used stop motion animation to capture the story. These became a version of storyboarding that allowed me to think through a few possible scenarios quickly and attempt to clarify what the behaviors of the device or user are that connect to the anxieties (figure 15-16). These sketches pushed me to further explore and think through the landscape of anxieties I was investigating, and revealed that, as a designer, I am inclined to create solutions. This was not the path I wanted to take, for the anxieties I researched do not end at the solution, but call for further discussion, research, and investigation.

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

37


Figure 12 Brainstorming using abstract forms and materials, removed me from thinking about humans, the world I know, and the devices I know.

1 Solitude spaces will be needed to escape the noise and connected states of others around us. These may take the form of small shelters or quiet rooms.

2 How will we “hold� our smartphones? Noticing the floating affect, thinking of ways our smartphones will be more connected to us, but still remain distant. An electric charge that allows them to float around our bodies and be ready to use when needed.

1

2

38

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Figure 13 This was an exploration of how auras can be use as a metaphor to lets others know when we are available, when we are irritated, and when we are communicating to multiple parties at once without releasing the private details of these conversations.

1 The aura of triangles show that Jenna is free to interact with others. Her connection is strong and she has the capacity to communicate face to face.

2 Jenna’s aura shows her mind is in three different places separate from where her physical body is.

3 Jenna is communicating with four different parties regarding events coming

1

2

3

4

5

6

up, status of her current job, and an ongoing conversation with her partner.

4 Jenna’s visible aura lets others know she is free to talk face-to-face and is currently involved in one remote, asynchronous conversation.

5 Jenna’s fuzzy aura shows she is flustered and does not want to be bothered face-toface or online.

6 Jenna is communicating with individuals for work (yellow) and friends at close and far distances. The triangles point to the location of the individual and how far away they are. The quantity of triangles shows the length of engagement in the conversation.

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

39


Figure 14 Investigate the metaphor of cloud computing. What does this mean for the future of collected and archived data? Using this metaphor to create an aesthetic and functional artifact for representation.

Figure 15 The clouds are able to transfer data

Visualize the feeling of overwhelming

and communicate with each other

notification alerts from a smartphone and

based on proximity. A detailed view

possible reactions to those notifications.

of the cloud structure, including microscopic data servers.

1 Ashley begins to receive multiple notifications on her smartphone. These notifications multiply quickly and occur every several seconds. This increases the disruption of her smartphone’s alerts to her current activity.

2 The notifications seem louder and louder as they accumulate, causing Ashely to scream out in stress telling her smartphone to “Shut Up!”

3 After Ashley’s smartphone hears her screeching command, it quiets the notifications and organizes them based on high priority. It glow subtly instead of buzzing, beeping, and moving in reaction to Ashley’s stress of the prior notification styles.

40

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


1

2

3

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

41


Figure 16 Exploring a scenario regarding the visibility of data in public places; to visualize various probabilities of visibility of self, and thinking how identity will affect presence online and offline.

1 Actual self represented, no device or mediated representation present. This is the most authentic representation of self to public.

1

2

2 Self represented as data accumulated through online presence and data gathered and contributed to online databases.

3 Users who create online personas and contribute to databases leave behind trails of data that can lead others to their interests, behaviors, habits, and locations. This trail can be cleaned up if desired.

4 Limited visibility of data self and actual self is represented by wearing apparatuses to deflect transmission of data to public viewing.

3

4

5 Half self and half data representation gives a quasi-authentic representation of self while also showing the “best self.� This self would be ideal for social engagements where the user is meeting new people.

5

42

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Figure 17 NotifcatOFF website

Figure 18 NotificatOFF still from tutorial video of customizing notifications

ďżź

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

43


Informing the User Early on in the process of making and sketching, I began exploring how I could diagnose these anxieties. I imagined I could act as a smartphone anxiety “doctor” in a metaphorical sense and prescribe a series of steps the user could take to mitigate the anxieties. NotificatOFF (figure

17-18) attempted to inform the user on how to customize notifications to

control how often he/she is notified; and the amount of information received on the pop-up notification. Through this investigation, I found that many SNS applications lacked an easy and efficient task flow to customize notifications. Also, SNS applications usually encourage the user to receive push notifications, prompting he/she to enable push notifications anytime they log-on or sign up for a new SNS service. In my role as designer “doctor,” diagnosing anxieties and prescribing solutions for the user led me to think of my project as a research lab. The “Tethered User Clinic” would consult with patients (users) and help them with their conditions and anxieties, resulting from smartphone use. I quickly dismissed this way of thinking, as it was solution oriented and out of range of my expertise. It did not give enough credit to the user for taking control of the situation if he/she is conscious of the affects of his/her smartphone use.

Investigating Behaviors The next investigation addressed the tools I was researching: smartphone SNS applications. I began thinking of different ways to interact with the device or different ways of animating and visualizing actions the user participated in (figure 19-20). The studies did not

Figure 19

directly address the anxieties, however revealed that SNS interface and smartphone design

Metadata visualization, appreciation

is only in the beginning stages, the first iteration of what might be possible in the future.

shown through kisses moving up and growing as the user receives likes on their Instagram pictures he/she has shared.

Analysis and Taxonomy of System Features From these studies, I became more interested in analyzing the visual aspects of the interface, such as the typeface, color, shapes, and the task flow for certain activities. I studied how the design decisions of the function and form influence the user’s relationship to his/her activity on the SNS and elevates the anxieties. This led me to analyze specific functions, such as “liking,” capturing, hashtagging, and metadata commenting, that I identified as operations. I created a taxonomy of what each function looks like for the most used SNS; and attempted to assess how the visual language influences the meaning made by the designer. This took the form of a website, but lacked a cohesive structure and narrative throughout (figure 21). My research and design studies led me to believe that provoking discussion and dialogue about the anxieties would better benefit the experience design community. I am not the only one talking about these concerns, but in my brief investigation, I could not find specific discussions among experience designers. Experience designers seem to have a more idealistic view of how they are affecting people’s lives and feelings. They do not consider and design for negative consequences, complex user emotions, and

44

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


even “disobedient� users (Dunne and Raby, 2013, 38; Lanier, 2010; Turkle, 2011). I hoped to promote discussion by way of a website: a flexible, visible channel that expresses conclusions I have discovered. This format has potential to be widely distributed and become a participatory resource for experience designers. I hope to stimulate discussion, thinking, contemplation, and debate about the issues I present. My first sketch of the website was dense, hermetic, and unapproachable (figure 21). The site navigation was complex and illogical, proving to be a terrible exercise in experience design. However, this original sketch laid the groundwork for the content I would provide. Yet, it needed to be packaged and presented in a way that was digestible, expressive, and thought provoking. My next iteration was an attempt to reveal the conclusions I drew from writing scenarios, mapping user interactions through the Activity Theory to identify the source of the anxieties, and the specific operations (figure 22). As the viewer moved through this content, starting with a provocation pointing to the issues, next introducing the anxieties and how they relate to user experience design. Then revealing details as they go about the operations, scenarios, and the Activity Theory diagram I adapted (figures 23-24).

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

45


46

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Figure 20 Stills from behavior and gesture study; smile to like, hug smartphone to like, and wink to like images on Instagram. Figure 21 Influencing Human Behavior website sketch, analysis of operative functions.

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

47


CONNECTED ANXIETIES of the SHARING CULTURE Anxieties ANXIETY OF ALWAYS

CONNECTIVITY ANXIETY

Interactions on SNS involving identity construction, data archive, visibility, and documentation of self can induce symptoms of self-consciousness, reputation maintenance, and insecurity of data privacy.

RESPONSE ANXIETY

Connectivity anxiety focuses on social connectivity that is enabled by SNS and how that connection influences a user’s accessibility, belongingness, social status, and device dependency. (Turkle, 2011; Raine and Wellman, 2012).

Cultural and societal conditions have created expectations of obligations, anticipation, and productivity as it concerns responses. It is difficult to avoid response anxiety as it has become ingrained in the communication etiquette.

*----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Operations DOCUMENTATION

HASHTAGS

LIKES

METADATA

PHONE CHECK

SCROLLING

STATUS UPDATE

*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------* My Taste is Not My Own +

The Facebook Self +

My Taste is Not My Own +

scenarios

allowing experience designers to see the anxieties and operations in context grouped by operation involved in scenario

My Taste is Not My Own + The Facebook Self +

The Facebook Self + My Taste is Not My Own +

SUBMIT +

High Expectations Gina sends a text to her friend Laura on a Friday afternoon while at work that reads, “TGIF! What are you doing tonight?” Gina expects Laura to respond quickly with plans for the night. Laura takes over an hour to respond, so Gina starts texting other friends the same message and waits for a response.

Her impatience in awaiting her response from Laura is encouraged by frequently checking her phone in between tasks at work, which results in welcomed disruptions shifting her focus every 15-20 minutes. These self-initiated disruptions will leave Gina less productive at work, and focusing too heavily on the plans for the evening. If Gina repeats these impatient expectation habits of her anticipated replies, she will live a life endless in the search and wait for the weekend.

Consequences:

Activity Theory Diagram


Figure 22 Sitemap of website

Figure 23 Vertical iteration, provocation and introduction. Figure 24 Documentation page

THINKING THROUGH MAKING

49


FINAL DESIGN

For the next and final iteration, I focused on typography and delivering information over time. The delivery and animation of the type reflects the content. Words such as “operative” spring in, as if part of a mechanical system (figures 25-29). More detailed information is revealed in rollovers or clicks, to encourage the viewer to read more and to explore the website on his/her own terms, while providing sufficient direction to understand the content. Large, animated typography forces the viewer to read important introductory statements. The provocative statements stimulate contemplative thought about the issue. The complexity of the ideas I was attempting to describe needed to be explicit and to gradually introduce the terminology I am using. Once the viewer reads the introductory pages, he/she has the opportunity to dive deeper into the operations—the subconscious habits of the user—that elevate the Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety. The introduction to these operations is crucial to the viewer’s understanding of the terms used to describe the content (figure 30-31). Each operation page has its own look and feel. I used continuous gradients, each color leading into the next operation, to show these operations connect and overlap and are often enacted by the user sequentially or simultaneously. The colors are bright, attempting to stimulate a bit of anxiety while reading, and create a positive atmosphere rather than a dark one as I am discussing a more negative, critical aspect of interface design (figure 32-39). The visual imagery is dominated by bit mapped images and “graphical user interface” elements from the 1980’s, which I cut up and reconfigured. The imagery suggests that designers are in the beginning stages of SNS application interface design. The texture and grittiness of the interface elements and patterns are not meant to be nostalgic. Rather, it contrasts the slickness and smooth, flat interfaces that are now created for mobile devices. I am referencing the design of interfaces, that they have come a long way from the early days, but that the concepts of connecting people and sharing information, have not drastically changed since the first SNS. This is not a criticism of SNS design, but an attempt to encourage experience designers to explore new territory. The website is essentially a condensed version of the documentation of my process and research. Creating this website taught me the value of revealing information over time to the viewer, and how a time-based medium is a strong way to create relationships between ideas that connect, but may need to be introduced sequentially. I also learned

FINAL DESIGN

51


how to support the argument through the design, which to me means having a purpose for using a typeface, color, or image.

Figure 25 Introduction typography animation 1

Figure 26

The participatory aspect of the website aims to invite other designers to add to the research I have begun, in the hope that this discussion would evolve and expand to become a resource for all experience designers. Viewers might contribute by adding a consequence to an existing scenario. Viewers might also map their own scenarios, using the proposed interactive Activity Theory diagram (figures

40-44). By choosing motives, goals, activities, and

actions, they are led to discover related operations and consequential anxieties. Walking the designer through this type of theoretical framework gives the designer structure and direction outside of his/her own task flow or user path, allowing the designer to view the bigger picture, and hopefully understand humans and their activities in a more critical way. These user-contributed scenarios exist as another layer to the Activity Theory diagram and are a resource for others to view, to inform his/her own design process and scenario building.

52

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE

Introduction typography animation 2


website prototype//introduction

website prototype//introduction

FINAL DESIGN

53


website prototype//introduction

Figure 27 Anxiety of Always rollover

Figure 28 Connectivity Anxiety rollover

Figure 29 Response Anxiety Rollover

website prototype//introduction

54

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


website prototype//introduction

FINAL DESIGN

55


website prototype//introduction

Figure 30 Operations introduction, animated typography

Figure 31 Operations introduction, rollover

56

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


website prototype//introduction

FINAL DESIGN

57


website prototype//operation: documenting

Figure 32 Documentation operation, full page

Figure 33 Documentation, scenario reveal

58

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


1

2

3


website prototype//operation: hashtagging

Figure 34 Hashtagging operation, full page

Figure 35 Hashtagging, scenario reveal

60

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


1

2

3


website prototype//operation: liking

Figure 36 Liking operation, full page

Figure 37 Liking, scenario reveal

62

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


1

2

3


website prototype//operation: phone checking

Figure 38 Phone checking operation, full page

Figure 39 Phone checking, scenario reveal

64

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


1

2

3


website prototype//scenario mapping

Figure 40 Contributer adding scenario

Figure 41 Contributer filling in map for scenario

Figure 42 Contributer writing associated consequences of scenario Figure 43 Scenarios added

website prototype//scenario mapping

66

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


website prototype// scenario mapping

website prototype//scenario mapping

FINAL DESIGN

67


website prototype//scenario mapping

Figure 44 View of scenario after submission

68

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


CONCLUSION

Using provocative statements and scenarios to inform experience designers of their influence on the consequential anxieties can be designed in a rhetorical, informative, and participatory format. The website prototype I created can be used as a resource and starting point to continue the conversation of anticipated consequences of a user’s interaction with technology. Designing a narrative, visual essay of my research exposes the issue in a digestible, approachable format without prescribing a solution. Applying Activity Theory is a solid framework to ground complex human behaviors as they relate to technology in order to anticipate resulting consequences. For future design investigations and research in the area of Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety, designers might continue to build a resource of knowledge relating to human behavior and interactions with technology. Defining the symptoms and operations that stimulate the anxieties will propel the conversation and help prepare experience designers to be critical of the consequential behaviors they might encourage through their interfaces.

CONCLUSION

71


REFERENCES PRIMARY SOURCES

Amichai-Hamburger, Y., & Ben-Artzi, E. (2003). Loneliness and Internet use. Computers in Human Behavior, 19, 71-80. Dijck, J. v. (2013). The culture of connectivity electronic resource]: A critical history of social media. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www2.lib.ncsu.edu/ catalog/record/OUPE005771058; Hassenzahl, Marc (2013). User Experience and Experience Design. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. Available online at http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/user_experience_and_experience_design.html Rainie, Lee and Wellman, Barry. (2012). Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press. Rushkoff, Douglas. (2013). Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. New York: Penguin Group. Turkle, Sherry. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books. Young, N., 1963. (2012). The virtual self: How our digital lives are altering the world around us. Toronto, Ont.: McClelland & Stewart. Retrieved from http:/www2.lib.ncsu.edu.prox.lib. ncsu.edu/catalog/record/DUKE005664223 Zhao, S. (2004). Toward a taxonomy of copresence. Presence, 12(5), 445-455. INTERNET AND EXPANSION OF CONNECTIVITY

Downes, Stephen. (2010). Millenials will make online sharing in networks a lifelong habit. Quoted in Anderson, J., & Rainie, L. The Future of the Internet, Part of Pew Research Center Series Anderson, J., & Rainie, L. (2012). Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives. The Future of the Internet, Part of Pew Research Center Series, 2. Buckley, S. (2010). Intimate strangers: The keitai culture of ‘belonging-without-being-with.’ In B. Crow, M. Longford & K. Sawchuk (Eds.), The wireless spectrum: The politics, practices, and poetics of mobile media (pp. 95-114). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Carr, Nicholas. (2011). The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton. Retrieved from http://search.trln.org/search?id=UNCb7042362 Duggan, M. (2013). Cell phone activities 2013 (Research Findings Report.) Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Herman, A. (2010). ‘The network we all dream of: Manifest dreams of connectivity and communication or, social imaginaries of the wireless commons. In B. Crow, M. Longford & K. Sawchuk (Eds.), The wireless spectrum: The politics, practices, and poetics of

REFERENCES

73


mobile media (pp. 187-198). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Lanier, J. (2010). You are not a gadget: A manifesto. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Retrieved from http://search.trln.org/search?id=UNCb6286367 Postman, N. (1993). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books Thackara, J. (2005). In the bubble: Designing in a complex world. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. The wireless spectrum: The politics, practices, and poetics of mobile media(2010). In edited by Barbara Crow, Michael Longford,and Kim Sawchuk., Crow B. A., Longford M. and Sawchuk K. (Eds.), Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press. SYMPTOMS AND EFFECTS OF NETWORKED INDIVIDUALISM

Bryant, E. M., & Marmo, J. (2012). The rules of Facebook friendship: A two-stage examination of interaction rules in close, casual, and acquaintance friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29(8), 1013-1035. Cohen, R. (2012, January 2). A time to tune out. The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/opinion/cohen-a-time-to-tune-out.html Lee, Doo Young. The role of attachment style in building social capital from a social networking site: The interplay of anxiety and avoidance. 2013. Computers in Human Behavior. 14991509. Morey, Jennifer N., Gentzler, Amy L., Creasy, Brian, Oberhauser, Ann M., Westerman, David. (2013). Young adults’ use of communication technology within their romantic relationships and associations with attachment style. Computers in Human Behavior. 1771-1778. Pierce, T. (2009). Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communication versus technological communication among teens. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(6), 1367-1372. Stone, L. (2008). Just breathe: Building the case for email apnea. Retrieved February, 7, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-stone/just-breathe-building-the_b_85651.html Tell, C. (2013, Sept. 20, 2013). Step away from the phone! The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/fashion/step-away-from-the-phone. html?ref=technology&_r=0 SOCIAL NETWORKING INSPIRED ANXIETIES

Bollmer, G. D. (2013). Millions now living will never die: Cultural anxieties about the afterlife of information. The Information Society, 29(3), 142-151. doi:10.1080/01972243.2013.777297 Grieve, R., Indian, M., Witteveen, K., Tolan, G. A., & Marrington, J. (2013). Face-to-face or Facebook: Can social connectedness be derived online? Computers in Human Behavior, 29(2), 604-609. Hiebert, P. (2013). The real reason why so many people overshare on Facebook. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/08/19/oversharing_on_ facebook_researchers_weigh_in.html

74

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Joiner, Richard, Gavin, Jeff, Brosnan, Mark, Cromby, John, Gregory, Helen, Guiller, Jane, Maras, Pam, Moon, Amy. Comparing first and second generation digital natives’ Internet use, Internet anxiety, and Internet identification. 2013. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking Mueller, B. (2012). The lonely society: I share, therefore I am. but what does digital technology really cost us? Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www.design.philips.com/ sites/philipsdesign/about/design/designnews/newvaluebydesign/december2012/ the_lonely_society.page Paul, Pamela, Don’t Tell Me, I Don’t Want to Know. February 10, 2012, New York Times. Rainie, L., Lenhart, A., & Smith, A. (2012). The tone of life on social networking sites. Pew Internet & American Life Project, Rainie, L., Barry. (2012). The individual in a networked world: Two scenarios. Futurist, 46(4), 24-27. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mth&AN=77243277&site=ehost-live&scope=site Rosen, L.D., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L.M., Cheever, N.a. Is Facebook creating “iDisorders”? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. 2013. Computers in Human Behavior. 1243-1254. Rosen, Larry D., Mark Carrier, L., Cheever, Nancy A. Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. 2013, Computers in Human Behavior. Sheldon, Pavica. Profiling the non-users: Examination of life-position indicators, sensation seeking, shyness, and loneliness among users and non-users of social network sites. 2012, Computers in Human Behavior. Steinfield, Charles; Ellison, Nicole B.; Lampe, Cliff. Social capital, self-esteem, and use of online social network sites: A longitudinal analysis. 2008. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 434-445. FEAR OF MISSING OUT

Grohol, J. (2011). FOMO addiction: The fear of missing out. Retrieved October, 7, 2013, from http:// psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/04/14/fomo-addiction-the-fear-of-missing-out/ Przybylski, Andrew K., Murayama, Kou, DeHaan, Cody R., Gladwell, Valerie. Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. 2013. Computers in Human Behavior. 1841-1848. Wortham, J. (2011, April 9). Feel like a wallflower? Maybe it’s your Facebook wall. The New York Times, pp. 1. HUMANS AND SOCIAL NEEDS

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

REFERENCES

75


McLeod, Saul. (2014). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Retrieved February 17, 2014, from http:// www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html ARTIFACT REACTIONS TO CONNECTED CULTURES AND RELEVANT ISSUES

Bleecker, J. (2008). Komboloi: An anti-anxiety device. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http:// nearfuturelaboratory.com/2008/01/31/komboloi-an-anti-anxiety-device/ Bouc, A. (2013). Addicted to Facebook? Try shock therapy. Retrieved October, 27, 2013, from http://guardianlv.com/2013/08/addicted-to-facebook-try-shock-therapy-video/ Chung, K., Chiu, C., Xiao, X., & Chi, P. (2009). Stress OutSourced: A haptic social network via crowdsourcing. DM9éDBB and Guaraná Antarctica. (2012). Ex-lover blocker Li, S. (2011, September 8). ‘Emotional’ phone simulates hand holding, breathing, and kissing. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 15, 2013, from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ technology/2011/09/phone-breathing-kissing.html Mannherz. (2013). Kill switch application. New York: New York. Morawe, Volker and Reiff, Tilman. (2011). Facebox - the world’s smallest social network. Retrieved October, 18, 2013, from http://2012.fursr.com/?p=212 Noah. Cederberg, P. and Woodman, W. (Directors). (2013).[Video/DVD] Private. Philips: Design futures. (2012). Retrieved October, 3, 2013, from http://www.design.philips.com/ about/design/designportfolio/design_futures/index.page Portilla-Kawamura, K., & Ganjavian, A. (2013). Ostrich pillow STUDIO BANANA THiNGS. Sadi, S. (2010). Pillowtalk. Retrieved October, 25, 2013, from http://fluid.media.mit.edu/projects/ pillowtalk Venstad, G. (2013). Nuna. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.gurivenstad.com/nuna Zara, J. (2013). Anti-anxiety objects: Design in the age of Xanax. Retrieved August, 28, 2013, from http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/857877/anti-anxiety-objects-design-in-theage-of-xanax DESIGN CRITICISM, THEORIES AND METHODS

Bowler, L., Koshman, S., Oh, J. S., He, D., Callery, B., Bowker, G., et al. (2011). Issues in user-centered design in LIS. Library Trends, 59(4), 721-752. Davis, Meredith. (2012). Graphic design theory. London: Thames & Hudson. Retrieved from http://www2.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/record/UNCb7315046 Dunne, Anthony and Raby, Fiona. (2013). Speculative everything: Design, fiction, and social dreaming. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Fabricant, R. Design with intent: How designers can influence behavior. Design Mind. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://designmind.frogdesign.com/articles/power/design-withintent.html

76

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


Gaver, B., Boucher, A., Pennington, S., & Walker, B. (2004). Cultural probes and the value of uncertainty. Interactions, (Sept & Oct), 53-56. Kaptelinin, V. (2006). In Nardi B. A. (Ed.), Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://www2.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/ record/DUKE003814999 Knight, J. (2008). Value-centred interaction design methods. Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in Society, 6(4), 334-348. Roche, E., & Hutchinson, K. The art of the unfriend: When social networking becomes social stress. Design Mind. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://designmind.frogdesign. com/articles/power/the-art-of-the-unfriend.html Simon, N. (2013). The participatory museum. Retrieved November 14, 2013, from http://www. participatorymuseum.org/chapter4/. COMMUNICATION PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORS

Donath, J. (2001). A semantic approach to visualizing online conversations. Communications of the ACM, 45(4), 45-49. Golsteijn, C., van den Hoven, E., Frohlich, D., & Sellen, A. (2012). Towards a more cherishable digital object. In Proceedings of the Designing of Interactive Systems Conference, New York, NY: USA, ACM. pp. 655-664. Reid, Fraser J.M., Reid, Donna J. The expressive and conversational affordances of mobile messaging. 2010, Behaviour & Information Technology. Taylor, AlexS., Harper, Richard. The Gift of the Gab? A Design Oriented Sociology of Young People’s Use of Mobiles. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). 2003, pages 267-296. The inside text: Social, cultural and design perspectives on SMS(2005). Edited by R. Harper, L.Palen and A.Taylor., Taylor A. (Eds.). Dordrecht; Norwell, MA: Springer. Retrieved from http://www2.lib.ncsu.edu.prox.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/record/NCSU1871875 Valkenburg, P. M., & Peter, J. (2007). Preadolescents’ and adolescents’ online communication and their closeness to friends. Developmental Psychology, 43(2), 267-277. doi:10.1037/00121649.43.2.267 Yu, A. (2013). What gets lost in our carefully crafted online conversations. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/09/29/226527161/whatgets-lost-in-our-carefully-crafted-online-conversations

REFERENCES

77


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW

Volume

disruption • fragmentation • activity Volume is defined by level of activity needed from user to interact with device, disruptive behaviors of device to current situation of user, level of obtrusiveness of notifications or use of device, and level of fragmentation of information (Rosen, Carrier, Cheever,

*Cubit

Memi

Sony’s Smartwatch

Google Glass

Nike Fuel Band

Fitbit

Jawbone UP

Health / Tracking

Samsung Smart Watch

Social Sharing Smartphone Applications

Vine

Tumblr

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Google +

Instagram

Facebook

low

high

2013; Rushkoff 2012; Turkle, 2011).

Augmented Notifications

Wearable Augmented to Smartphone

APPENDIX

79


Actions

reciprocation • expectations • velocity Actions are defined by how robust the device is in tasks performed by the user, expectations of reciprocation, velocity of activity, and level of maintenance needed to retain activity on device (Stein-

*Cubit

Memi

Sony’s Smartwatch

Google Glass

Nike Fuel Band

Fitbit

Jawbone UP

Health / Tracking

Samsung Smart Watch

Social Sharing Smartphone Applications

Vine

Tumblr

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Google +

Instagram

Facebook

low

high

field, Ellison, Lampe, 2008; Turkle. 2011).

Augmented Notifications

Wearable Augmented to Smartphone

80

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW

Identity Construction

always • public • sense of self Identity construction is defined by profile creation through use of explicit autobiographical information or implicit information created by content posted and interactions, robustness of profile, and sense of self created through interactions with device (Zhao,

*Cubit

Memi

Sony’s Smartwatch

Google Glass

Nike Fuel Band

Fitbit

Jawbone UP

Health / Tracking

Samsung Smart Watch

Social Sharing Smartphone Applications

Vine

Tumblr

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Google +

Instagram

Facebook

low

high

2008).

Augmented Notifications

Wearable Augmented to Smartphone

APPENDIX

81


*Cherishable

tethered • relationship with device • connected Cherishability is defined by the personal relationship the user has with the device, embodied meanings users may create through use of device, and how the device influences the user’s identity and relationships

*Cubit

Memi

Sony’s Smartwatch

Google Glass

Nike Fuel Band

Fitbit

Jawbone UP

Health / Tracking

Samsung Smart Watch

Social Sharing Smartphone Applications

Vine

Tumblr

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Google +

Instagram

Facebook

low

high

(Golsteijn et al., 2012).

Augmented Notifications

Wearable Augmented to Smartphone

*This category is speculative and somewhat difficult to measure as the cherishability of the object is highly dependent on the user and use of object, however the ability for user’s to cherish a device is relevant to their attachment to the object.

82


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW

Connectivity

connected • fear of solitude • social capital Connectivity is defined as how the device encourages building social capital, types of relationships formed, public or private sharing of content, and encouragement to communicate and interact with others through use of device (Haythornthwaite, 2005; Raine and

*Cubit

Memi

Sony’s Smartwatch

Google Glass

Nike Fuel Band

Fitbit

Jawbone UP

Health / Tracking

Samsung Smart Watch

Social Sharing Smartphone Applications

Vine

Tumblr

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Google +

Instagram

Facebook

low

high

Wellman, 2012; Turkle, 2011).

Augmented Notifications

Wearable Augmented to Smartphone

APPENDIX

83


high

Facebook Online, social network platform where users create their identity through filling in autobiographical information with pictures, videos, and text. VOLUME notified when friends send message, favorite friends add a post, event invitations, friends likes post you are affiliated with, tagged in a post, friends’ birthdays, user posts in community you are a part of, and when users accept your friend request. Notifications are customizable through Facebook app. ACTIONS User can post original content (text, images, videos, hyperlinks) or share content from another party. User can chat and message friends, view content posted by friends, view profiles of friends and non-friends who have public accounts, create events, play games, create group and comment, like and share other’s posts. CHERISHABLE Intimacy of personal content allowed and encouraged for posting,

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

Timeline as digital representation of memories, personal tie to long lost friends and documented interactions between close relationships make this tool very cherishable. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity created through liked content, liked pages, explicit autobiographical information filled out in form (not all is required), real name, workplace, location, interests, likes, as well as status updates and content posted which is viewed from most recent to oldest. The Timeline view of a profile allows users to add events from the past, such as baby photos and childhood milestones. CONNECTIVITY Encourages communication with friends and various ways to interact with friends. Allows users to be aware of people’s lives regardless of location, closeness of relationships, and offline interactions.

high

Instagram Picture sharing smartphone application that allows users to add filters and image editing affects to their smartphone pictures. VOLUME Notified when users like or comment on your image or when you have a new follower. Limited to taking pictures and interactions with friend using app. ACTIONS Take photos, capture 15 second videos, add filters, add captions, tag people, add location and share to various networks. Comment and like other’s pictures and follow others CHERISHABLE Images are kept under user profiles creating a digital scrapbook and representation of different events in one’s life. However, the volume of these pictures has created a degraded sense of what’s important and what’s not. Allows users to keep up with friends and connect through pictures and video.

84

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity is created through pictures taken. Profile information is limited to user name. CONNECTIVITY Allows friends to follow others, communicate via public comments and likes, allows users to keep up with friends through images and short videos.


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW

high

Google + Online, social network platform that organizes friends into circles and allows users to congregate through communities. VOLUME Notified when friend has added you, placed you in a particular circle, or when a community you are a part of has posted new content. ACTIONS User can post content in various forms, curate friends in terms of circles, create business pages, create communities, and use various Google products. Google Hangout, multi-person video chat, is encouraged as well as Google chat. CHERISHABLE Social relationships maintained with tool, memories or experiences posted, associations and affiliations with groups and content posted. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity created through adding images, posting (optional), and content posted via YouTube.

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

content, updating statuses, filling out autobiographical information through forms

CONNECTIVITY Encourages communication with friends via Google Hangout and Google chat, sharing content, and adding people to your network.

high

LinkedIn Professional social network where user’s create profiles that resemble resumes. VOLUME Alerted when a user asks to be added to your network, when a user interacts directly with your profile, or when a community you are a part of posts new content. ACTIONS Connect to others, create a profile that lists experience in resume format, add skills that can be endorsed by connections, and message people privately and directly. CHERISHABLE The importance of this tool is in the ability to network professionally in order to acquire a job. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION User’s create complete resume, autobiographical

low

blurb and other information filled out through the use of forms. Site shows users Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

how many steps away certain connections are. CONNECTIVITY Allow for direct messaging, endorsing skills of colleagues, liking status updates, and staying up to date with communities and colleagues. Purpose is mostly for professional advancement and building professional social capital.

APPENDIX

85


high

Snapchat Picture and video sharing smartphone app that does not save content shared. Users may take screenshot to save images, but the content is deleted after it is viewed. VOLUME Notifies when you have a new Snap from a friend. ACTIONS Take pictures or video with audio, write captions or draw on top of image, send to friends, add time of how long they can view the image. CHERISHABLE Images are deleted after viewed or sent. Users can keep memories by taking screenshots. The temporality allows for the experience to be cherished, not the content made and shared. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION No profile is created, user’s are found by username

low

created. Identity could be curated by stories (additive snaps that are available Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

for 24 hours ) or snaps sent, however these cannot be viewed after sent or seen once. CONNECTIVITY Communication to one or many. Temporality creates a low-stakes environment. Users have begun Snapchat as a substitute or addition to text messaging.

high

Twitter Online, social network platform that organizes friends into circles and allows users to congregate through communities. VOLUME Notified when someone follows you, retweets your tweet, favorites your tweet, mentions you in a tweet, or sends you a private direct message. ACTIONS Write short (142 character) messages that may include hyperlinks, images, or video. Trending topics are started and viewed through the use of user generated hashtags (# symbol attached to keywords). Follow friends, celebrities, brands, bands, and other uses on Twitter. CHERISHABLE Used via smartphone. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Username, short blurb, profile pic, and background

low

images are viewed on the personal profile. Content posted by user creates most

86

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

CONNECTIVITY Followers do not always have a direct connection to each other (i.e. following celebrities). The use of “@” mentions and direct message communications allows users to interact directly with each other.


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW high

Tumblr Blogging platform known for it’s ease of use and customization features. Affords posting different mediums of content: text, quotes, images, video, audio, links, and chats. VOLUME notified when someone follows your blog, reblogs your post, or likes your post. ACTIONS: Ability to post various mediums of content in a templated, although customizable format. Direct messages between users, reblog posts, follow blogs, like posts and allows others to ask questions or submit their own posts. CHERISHABLE Content may create links, however the limited interactivity and investment of this tool lacks in cherishable qualities. Unique content posted and original content posted may be viewed as a personal connection to the tool.

low

IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION User’s form identity through original content posted, Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

content reblogged, followers, content liked, and some may choose to write an explicit autobiographical statement, however this is not required. CONNECTIVITY Does not explicitly facilitate interpersonal communication, calls messaging system “fan mail.” Users of Tumblr are lurkers and reblog content without direct connections to posters. Anonymity is accepted and profile names do not reflect actual names, but themes or content posted

high

Vine Online, social network platform that organizes friends into circles and allows users to congregate through communities. VOLUME Notified when user follows you, when someone likes your Vine, reposts your Vine, or comments on your Vine. ACTIONS Create 6 second videos through various methods of production, add caption, comment, like and repost other Vines, follow users. CHERISHABLE Capturing moments as short videos can allow for associated experienced, embodied meanings, and memories. Videos are saved under user’s profile. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity is curated through Vines posted and reposted.

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

Profile is limited to username and followers. CONNECTIVITY Interaction between users is allowed in comments, likes, reposts, and following. Videos are shared with followers and account can be public or private. Accounts are usually linked to Twitter and/or Facebook.

87


high

Jawbone UP A sleek wristband that tracks activity, sleep patterns, diet, and mood by asking the user to input most of this data. User can also set reminders to move around through smartphone app that houses data. VOLUME Notifies user through vibration and small LED lights. ACTIONS Tracks daily activity to influence users decisions and behaviors towards a healthier lifestyle. Smartphone application affords most activity and houses data collected. Can also input data through smartphone app. CHERISHABLE Devices has personal connection through daily wearing and personal information collected. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Creating identity through wearing device, color, and

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

content collected. CONNECTIVITY Ability to share data with others through smartphone app.

high

Fitbit Wristband tracks activity, sleep patterns, diet and weight. Connected to a smartphone app to log data and view personal data in line graphs, bar charts, and pie charts to create a healthier lifestyle. VOLUME Lights up and vibrates with reminders set up through smartphone app. ACTIONS Tracks daily activity including sleep patterns; ability to logo diet and mood information. Data is viewed through smartphone app. Can view time as well as data relating to activity through small screen on wristband. Cherishable: Devices has personal connection through daily wearing and personal information collected. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Personal identity created through wearing of band,

low

data collected and activity viewed through smartphone app.

88

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

CONNECTIVITY Ability to share data with others through smartphone app and earn badges through attaining goals. Motivate others by sending messages through app.


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW high

Nike Fuel Band Wearable activity tracker connected to smartphone app. Tracks activity and allows users to set goals and share activity in friendly competitive ways. Users collect Fuel points to reach their goals. VOLUME Lights up and vibrates for reminders and when goals are reached. ACTIONS Tracks activity, set goals, motivation and reminders through smartphone app. Earn badges and compete with friends through smartphone app. CHERISHABLE Embodied meanings created by wearer; personal connection to data and activity experiences. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Personal identity created through wearing of band, data collected and activity viewed through smartphone app. CONNECTIVITY Encourages interactions with other Fuel band users; competition

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

and motivation.

APPENDIX

89


high

Google Glass Augmented glasses that allow users to do most functions available on a smartphone while viewing through a small projected lens from the glasses. VOLUME Notifications can be customized based on apps connected to smartphone. Notifications may not be as robust as smartphone. ACTIONS Ability to record videos and pictures from viewers point of view. Google Hangout, search Google, send messages, get directions, are features emphasized. CHERISHABLE Ability to capture experiences from user’s point of view. Ability to share experiences with others via Google Hangout without having a screen, simply wearing Glass.

low

IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity is created by wearing product and color Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

choice of Glass. CONNECTIVITY Encourages users to be connected and interact with others without staring at a screen.

high

Samsung Smartwatch Additive wearable watch that connects to Samsung Galaxy phone. VOLUME Notifies user through small screen interface images, sounds, or vibrations. All notifications come from connection to smartphone. ACTIONS Ability to take photos, view notifications, reply to text messages, and answer calls. Screen is small, and is more used as an augment in addition to the smartphone. CHERISHABLE Worn by user and allow user to respond in a timely manner by being notified immediately. Wearing the device instills embodied meanings from the user. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Created through use and wearing of watch, customization of band.

90

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

CONNECTIVITY Allows users to keep up with notifications, limited to phone calls and text message communication.


APPENDIX A: MARKET REVIEW

high

Sony’s SmartWatch Wearable watch that notifies user. Connects to smartphone. VOLUME User customizes notifications via smartphone application Watch vibrates gently. ACTIONS User can reply to texts or emails and view notification details. CHERISHABLE Wearable watch allows for quick awareness of notifications. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Customizing wristband, wearing tool. CONNECTIVITY Allows for immediate awareness of notifications; allows user to glance at wrist instead of disrupt current interaction by using phone to

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

immediately reply.

APPENDIX

91


high

Memi Wearable wrist notification system; connected to smartphone. VOLUME Notifications alert user through lighting up and slight vibrations. User can customize notifications with different colors of light. ACTIONS Customize notifications through smartphone app. CHERISHABLE Ability to capture experiences from user’s point of view. Ability to share experiences with others via Google Hangout without having a screen, simply wearing Glass. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Identity is created by wearing product. CONNECTIVITY Encourages users to be connected and aware of notifications

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

without frequently checking their smartphone.

high

Cubit Small cube objects with small screen that can be worn or attached other objects (like a key chain). Alerts users through vibration and image on screen. VOLUME Notifies user through small screen interface images, sounds, or vibrations. All notifications come from connection to smartphone. ACTIONS Ability to view type of notification, but no detail. Can customize notifications through smartphone app. CHERISHABLE Wearing the device instills embodied meanings from the user. IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION Created through use and wearing of object.

92

Connectivity

Identity Const.

Cherishable

Actions

Volume

low

CONNECTIVITY Allows users to keep up with notifications.


APPENDIX B: MARKET REVIEW ANALYSIS stored

INCREASES ANXIETY

moment

deleted

forever

MITIGATES ANXIETY

Anxiety of Always DATA STORAGE

Facebook

Jawbone UP

Deleted: Data added to application or digital space can be

Instagram

Fitbit

deleted easily.

Google +

Nike Fuel Band

LinkedIn

Google Glass

Snapchat

Samsung Smart Watch

Forever: Data can be viewed over a long time period, showing

Twitter

Sony’s Smartwatch

past content posted and current content.

Tumblr

Memi

Vine

*Cubit

Stored: Data is stored forever and cannot be deleted. TIME

Moment: Content viewed is only relevant to present moment or a specific moment in time.

APPENDIX

95


high maintenance

INCREASES ANXIETY

low awareness

low maintenance

high awareness

MITIGATES ANXIETY

Connectivity Anxiety AWARENESS OF OTHER’S STATUS

Facebook

Jawbone UP

Visible: Users post status updates and broadcast messages.

Instagram

Fitbit

Invisible: Users direct content to specific individuals; current

Google +

Nike Fuel Band

LinkedIn

Google Glass

Snapchat

Samsung Smart Watch

Short: User is closely connected to device due to

Twitter

Sony’s Smartwatch

affordances of tool.

Tumblr

Memi

Vine

*Cubit

status is unknown. TETHER TO DEVICE

Long: User is loosely connected to device due to affordances of tool.

96

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX B: MARKET REVIEW ANALYSIS

instant response

INCREASES ANXIETY

invisible

delayed response

visible

MITIGATES ANXIETY

Response Anxiety Facebook

Jawbone UP

Instant Response: Similar to synchronous communication.

Instagram

Fitbit

Timeliness of reply is important, and use of mode inherently

Google +

Nike Fuel Band

LinkedIn

Google Glass

Response is not expected immediately, but eventually. Content

Snapchat

Samsung Smart Watch

can affect timeliness of response.

Twitter

Sony’s Smartwatch

Tumblr

Memi

Vine

*Cubit

RESPONSE TIME

represents the expectations of response time. Delayed Response: Similar to asynchronous communication.

VISIBILITY OF RESPONDER’S ACTIVITY Visible: Users can view if reader’s have read or seen message and when others have last logged on to application. Invisible: Users cannot view if reader has read or seen message, availability of others is unknown.

APPENDIX

97


APPENDIX C: SURVEY

APPENDIX

99


100

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX C: SURVEY

APPENDIX

101


102

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX D: INTERVIEW WITH FACEBOOK USER

Veronica Smith* Interview 11.27.2013 *Name was changed to protect the privacy of the participant.

Kezra Cornell: Ok, the questions I’m going to ask you are going to be focusing on your feelings and thoughts relating to your Facebook activity, so just try to be as honest as you can, if any of the questions make you feel uncomfortable you can just say pass or whatever. Veronica Smith: Ok got it. KC: Do you have any questions? VS: Nope. KC: Do you feel that if you don’t check Facebook often you will miss out on something important? VS: Umm, I mean I wouldn’t call it important, but I would say that I feel like I’m like going to like miss out on something, or that I’m not like in the loop of like what’s going on. It’s not like, “Oh my gosh my life is incomplete because I haven’t checked the important awesome events that are going on at Facebook.” KC: Often the activity on Facebook is seen as relationship maintenance. What are your motives for maintaining your social network communication and presence. So, why do you maintain those relationships through Facebook. VS: Ummm, ok, one would be that it’s useful to maintain like relationships where I don’t see those people everyday. So like long distance. It’s easy to see, and that’s what I like seeing to, people I wouldn’t normally have contact with, it makes it easier to just see what’s going on with their lives. Other than that, maintaining a presence and updating statuses and shit, its kind of like, I just see it as a side part of myself, it’s separate from my personal interactions, so it’s like another way for people to get to know me and it’s another way for me to express a relationship with people. Like, when I like some people’s statuses and show them a little love on Facebook, I don’t know, it relates to that, I don’t know they’re separate but intertwined. I don’t know if I’m making any sense KC: Yeah, you are. VS: It’s not a primary relational thing, but it keeps things going, whether they’re long distance or just everyday chit chatty, trivial shit. KC: Yeah, ok so it’s more of like a continuation of maybe existing conversations, but then also to like keep up with people to maintain relationships over distances? VS: Yeah, and even those people on the periphery who I’m never gonna like their statuses or really like care what they’re doing, even just kind of like oh they’re way out their in the distance doing this thing, its interesting to know what people are doing, you know people you went to

APPENDIX

105


high school with or whatever. KC: Yeah, OK cool. Do you check Facebook more frequently on your phone [smartphone] or computer? VS: computer, I check it on my phone, but you can’t, I’ll check my newsfeed on my phone, but like I don’t like to like go, its not the same, I look at iPhone differently than my laptop, I don’t know on the computer you can just do more, it’s more in depth. KC: Do you think the interface on the computer is easier to use for things like messaging and chat and posting? VS: Yeah, I think it’s easier on the computer. KC: Through the process of sharing, sending me messages every time you hop on and telling me what you do, did that reveal anything surprising about your use of Facebook? VS: Umm, it made me aware of how much I get on there and yeah and trying to think about why I was on is not something I think about, hmm, anything revealing, I mean nothing other than that I don’t think. KC: Cause I know at the beginning it you kind of said that it was almost like a reflex to check, like you would just, you didn’t even have to think about VS: Yeah, I don’t think I thought about it much until when I knew that I had to message you cause like usually anytime I’m moving through windows on my computer I would just bring it and don’t even know that I brought it up, and then just come back to it every few minutes. KC: How does viewing content form old friends, so either like old acquaintances or old high school friends, make you feel? I know earlier you said that it’s just kind of interesting to see what they’re up to from afar? VS: Yeah, I like to see what their up to from afar, I don’t know, like, a lot of people I guess like get rid of those friends and they just keep who’s current, and I just kind of leave them because I don’t know I want to see what their doing because I want to know that I don’t want that life, like their five kids at twenty-five, that’s all I was going to say about that, what was the rest of the question? KC: How does that make you feel being aware of what their doing? VS: I like being aware of that I guess, I mean it makes me angry sometimes, but that’s I mean given my background, the comment, the post that I got angry about is something that I don’t see, umm and, so it’s good and bad. It’s weird in away I don’t talk to a lot of them it just comes up and like that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have Facebook, but at the same time, like, I like being reminded that like oh this is where that person’s at and they haven’t left their original town their whole lives and they’re never going to and ahh...and I also like it because like when you move places in life and you move on to different things, and like you leave groups of people behind

106

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX D: INTERVIEW WITH FACEBOOK USER

and leave like certain cultural contexts behind like Facebook allows you to still see like different groups even though you might not be interacting with them, it allows you to see you know I can still see some conservative asshole is like posting awful things about homosexuality, I wouldn’t, if I didn’t have him as a friend on Facebook I wouldn’t be able to see that. KC: So you like the awareness of that? VS: Yeah, the cultural awareness. KC: Going back to that post that did upset you, did it affect any activities in your offline life, so like did any of that kind of anger carry over into things outside of Facebook? VS: Like did I get angry and other stuff? KC: Yeah, Were you thinking of it outside of Facebook and maybe even thinking about what you might say or VS: Oh yeah, absolutely like I like talked to my room mate about it, like right after I posted, I like I called my brother, and was like look at this post and make sure I don’t sound like an idiot, and yeah talked to several people about it. And someone told me that they saw it, like, a friend of mine saw me post, or saw that i had commented on the post event though she’s not friends with the guy who’s wall I posted, and I was like what the fuck you can see that? And that pissed me off cause I was like, being like, kind of playing the Jesus game to like show him how stupid his argument was, and so then i was like oh my gosh who can see my shit I don’t want them to see my shit, and then I and then I learned when I got home yesterday my brother said that someone here saw what I posted on, or the argument i got into, and was like now convinced that I’m a lesbian. Cause they don’t really know, that’s also interesting cause these like these people here I haven’t told them that I’m not going to tell them that. They’re able to piece together form my Facebook interactions that perhaps, maybe I’m a lesbian. I mean I don’t know, anyway, that was a lot, but yes it affected my life. KC: From that experience, does that maybe, I mean do you regret anything that you said, or are you just kind of like well I didn’t want it to leak out but, VS: No I don’t regret anything that I said at all I, like this guys is an asshole, I mean like if your going to post opinions like that. As like I don’t know, I mean I feel like I had a right to say something you know. I mean he does it all the time, I like blew it off for like a long time, and I so I just had enough of it, so KC: Mmmhmm yeah. VS: I mean if I would’ve acted in a really heated, stupid manner I think I might regret it, but I though it was a valid critique of his stupid Facebook behavior. KC: So did it feel kind of good to express that to him in such a public way

APPENDIX

107


VS: Yeah, totally, yeah definitely. And maybe in a less tense way than if it had happened in person or like I don’t know, another format. KC: Umm, let’s see. Sometimes you told me you checked Facebook just because you were bored or maybe trying to procrastinate, umm, so in those instances how did you feel after you checked Facebook? Like was your boredom gone or...? VS: Sometimes it’s just dependent on the moment I guess, sometimes you come across some interesting stuff and you’re like oh well now I’m distracted by this and I’ve been distracted for too long and I should get back to work. And then sometimes you’re like nothing is going on, and I’m like well, I guess I’m going back to work cause I’m still bored and I can’t procrastinate anymore. Umm, so I mean it wasn’t like a, like a fix, It wasn’t like it was a drug fix or something, it’s just kind of a thing that happens. Like this kind of ongoing conversation to see what people are talking about. Oh that’s interesting or oh that’s not interesting. KC: When you posted a photo or status update you often received comments or likes, how does this reciprocated activity from friends on your personal thoughts or content make you fee? VS: Uhhh, I mean it makes you feel good. I mean, I don’t know, I put stuff up because I want people to like, like it for the most part I guess. Or just things that would be entertaining, does that makes sense? KC: Yeah, that makes sense. So when you are posting things you do expect some type of response? VS: Yeah, I mean I expect some type of response, like nothing like profound but I see it as just like these people, just like an ongoing conversation where people are just kind of like throwing out, and not in the same way, I don’t know I don’t use twitter that much, but in a different way where people are like hey here’s this, hey here’s this, oh I think this. I don’t know so I see myself as like being like well this is me saying like one little stupid thing or whatever. You get a little trivial detail of my own life, but I don’t want to share, It’s not like super personal it’s not like super invested, it just like yeah this is cool, entertaining, this is part of me, you know, does that make sense? KC: Yeah that does. Are you ever disappointed when something that you post doesn’t get a lot of activity or likes? VS: I’m never disappointed, I mean, but I obviously think about like why. I’m aware of what I put up, like maybe that was like too personal, maybe that was like directed toward a group of like three people and no one else gets it. KC: [laughs] yeah. VS: I don’t know, I mean yeah, I would think about why but I wouldn’t be like oh my gosh I need

108

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


APPENDIX D: INTERVIEW WITH FACEBOOK USER

to go like cry in my room because no one liked my Facebook status [laughs]. KC: [Laughs] Ok, that’s good, that’s healthy. VS: [laughs] So, no not disappointment but awareness. KC: During one night, I think it was like maybe Thursday or Friday night, you were kind of out and about, and you told me that you were checking your phone, and I was just curious as to why you were checking your phone while out with friends? Or checking Facebook? VS: Umm, well like I just get like notifications on my phone, and I hate having notifications that I don’t check. So that was part of it, so I was just like checking it was either like a message or something, I don’t know, something that’s going on. And it was literally like a couple of seconds, I like I wasn’t like, um super, like just checking through Facebook. KC: Yeah. VS: I don’t know there might’ve been a couple moments where people were like going to the bathroom or checking their phones so I might’ve been like oh I’m just going to scroll through the newsfeed really fast. So it wasn’t like an invested amount of time. It was just for notifications. Does that answer your question? KC: Ok, yep! So you don’t like seeing like the little red circle with number on your phone? The notification? VS: No, I have to like get if off. If it’s on there, like I will have to open it just to get if off even if I don’t read it. KC: Ok, so you don’t want any red circles on your phone? VS: No, I have anxiety about the red circles. KC: Why do you have anxiety about that? VS: Cause I’m OCD? I don’t know. I just don’t like it. Well I’ve had, There’s two of them on my OK Cupid thing right now, that I’ve left on there for awhile, but that’s because I don’t want to open the messages, because, I don’t know It’s different. I just don’t go on there as much. And, they can’t see that I’ve opened those messages. Maybe I feel like it’s just more tied to a person. I don’t know it just bugs me. It’s like having an unopened email, like, it bothers me to have an unopened email. Like if I have to click it just to open it and not even read it, I will. KC: Ok, so you just want things to be recognized. VS: Recognized, yes, yeah I can’t explain it fully, but yeah. KC: Thinking about what I asked you to do, how did reporting out to me affect your normal social networking behaviors? I know before you said it made you use Facebook a little bit less.

APPENDIX

109


VS: Umm, yeah it made me use it less, umm or it made me less likely to be like on and off on and off, on and off like every like few minutes. And like I had to like, cause a lot of times I’ll just leave it up for a long period of time and I didn’t do that as much either. And I’ll just leave it open in another window and do other shit, I didn’t do that as much I kind of like closed it out. Ummm..other than that, I mean it made me more aware of the creepy shit I do. Not that I do that much creepy shit [laughs]. KC: [laughs] wait, oh you mean like with you’re stalking? VS: Yeah, like stalking random people and looking at other people’s photos. I mean it made me aware that like I wouldn’t necessarily want someone to know that I’m doing this. But I mean, people do it, so... KC: Right, right, so you’re maybe a little embarrassed by your Facebook stalking behaviors? VS: A little embarrassed yeah, but not like majorly embarrassed. KC: Do you like that aspect of Facebook that you are able to go through these threads and networks of friends and figure out that kind of thing. VS: Yeah definitely, I think you can learn some things that you wouldn’t necessarily learn, I mean obviously it’s completely different then what like what someone tells you or personal interactions or whatever, but I think you can get a sense for people. Like, for example, like everyone I’ve been out with on like OK Cupid or whatever, I don’t know, I think it’s important to Facebook friend them before you meet them or like if you’re going to go on a couple dates with them. It like, I think it gives you context to work with, I guess. If that makes sense. KC: Yeah, ok, a little bit of a primer in a sense. VS: Yeah KC: Was it difficult to message me every time you logged on? VS: Ummm, I mean to an extent it was, I mean it’s just not a normal way of going about using Facebook. Umm, so yeah it added some structure to it that was a little bit tedious, but I mean that’s about it. KC: Umm, is there anything else you want to add? VS: Hmmm...No I don’t think so. KC: Ok, well, I think I’ve asked all of my questions. Thanks so much for your time! VS: You’re welcome.

110

DESIGNING TO EXPOSE THE CONNECTED ANXIETIES OF THE SHARING CULTURE


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank you to all of those that have supported me through this journey. Your advice, feedback, and insight was valued throughout this process. Thank you to my committee chair, Denise Gonzales Crisp for asking provoking questions, guiding me to surprise myself, and teaching me to appreciate typography and rhetorical design. Santiago Piedrafita and Scott Townsend, for your helpful feedback, commentary, and direction when I was uncertain of where this project was going. To my classmates, for working hard, being smarter than I am, and pushing me to be a better designer. The conversations and discussions we had helped me understand design, and allowed me to find my own voice as a designer. My parents and family, for helping me move here, and supporting my decision to go back to school. Your love and pride was much appreciated, even from 900 miles away. Thanks to Robin Vuchnich and Ryan Foose for being excellent models while I explored ideas that probably did not make sense at the time.

ACKNOLWEDGMENTS

113


Designing to Expose the Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture  

Process documentation of my graphic design graduate research at NCSU.

Designing to Expose the Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture  

Process documentation of my graphic design graduate research at NCSU.

Advertisement