Time-out/Time-in: The Dynamics of Everyday Experiential Computing Devices

Mads Bødker, Gregory Gimpel, Jonas Hedman

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    In everyday life, the role of computing devices alternates between the ordinary and mundane, the un-reflected and the extraordinary. To better understand the process through which the relationship between computing devices, users and context changes in everyday life, we apply a distinction between time-in and time-out use. Time-in technology use coincides and co-exists within the flow of ordinary life, while time-out use entails ‘taking time out’ of everyday life to accomplish a circumscribed task or engage reflectively in a particular experience. We apply a theoretically informed grounded approach to data collected through a longitudinal field study of smartphone users during a 6-month period. We analysed the data based on the concept of time-in/out and show the dynamics in the experience of a device that changes from the ‘extraordinary’ to the ‘ordinary’ over time. We also provide a vocabulary that describes this relationship as stages resembling the one between a couple, which evolves from an early love affair, to being married and to growing old together. By repurposing the time-in/out distinction from its origin in media studies, this paper marks a move that allows the distinction to be applied to understanding the use and dynamic becoming of computing devices over time.
    TidsskriftInformation Systems Journal
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)143-166
    Antal sider24
    StatusUdgivet - 2014


    • Technology use
    • Smartphones
    • Time-in/out technology usage
    • Experiential computing