Time-Out/Time-In: Next Step in Understanding Technology Use

    Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


    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.

    Presentation at MIS Friday Workshop, Sauder School of Business
    Period23 Jan 2015
    Held atSauder School of Business, Canada, British Columbia