Most research in human-centered/social computing focuses on when and how people use technology. We argue that examining non-use – when and how people do not use technology – is equally important. Investigations of non-use have been conducted under diverse auspices by scholars who, due to their divergent interests, do not regularly interact with one another.

This workshop aims to connect these disparate research strands and construct an overarching understanding of technology non-use, drawing attention to cross-cutting questions and considering how commonalities across fields might inform one another. This workshop will draw attention to non-use as a valuable locus of inquiry in HCI. It will also foster a community of researchers, from both within and beyond the CHI community, who may not interact regularly but who may benefit theoretically, methodologically, and socially from doing so. Workshop activities will focus on discussion and agenda-setting, with the goal of collaborating on a special issue to introduce both the diversity and commonalities of scholarship on the topic to a broader audience.

Join Us

We are pleased to be organizing this workshop as part of CHI 2014, the annual Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. This year’s conference will be held in Toronto, Canada, 26 Apr–1 May.

Submission guidelines can be found on the Call for Participation.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline January 17th, 2014
Notification of Acceptance February 10th, 2014
Workshop April 26th, 2014

Eric P. S. Baumer is a research associate at Cornell University. He has studied use and non-use of Facebook and has argued for the value of considering avoiding technological interventions. More broadly, he is interested in how the interplay between different forms of use and non-use exposes normative beliefs about the roles technology does and should play in society.

Morgan G. Ames is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Irvine. She has examined the cultural history and the on-the-ground ‘use’ (including significant levels of non-use) of the One Laptop Per Child project. She has also explored the social meanings of everyday technologies for families of diverse socioeconomic levels and for college students, where she found non-use and techno-resistant identities.

Jed R. Brubaker is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Irvine researching the relationships between individuals and systems in the co-performance of “use.” His dissertation research considers the new types of [non-]use and [non-]users associated with death in social media. Additionally, he has studied the sociotechnical departures from mobile apps, and non-persistent identity construction in craigslist personal ads.

Jenna Burrell is a professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley and author of Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana. Her interests include theories of materiality, user agency, transnationalism, post-colonial relations, digital representation, and especially the appropriation of ICTs by individuals and groups on the African continent.

Paul Dourish is a member of the CHI Academy and professor of Informatics at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Anthropology. His research focuses on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production, bridging human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and science and technology studies.