Congratulations to Informatics grad student and faculty Ellie Harmon and Melissa Mazmanian on having their paper, “Stories of the Smartphone in Everyday Discourse: Conflict, Tension & Instability” accepted to CHI 2013.
“As the smartphone proliferates in American society, concerns about addiction and the effects of multi-tasking proliferate as well. In this paper we draw on advertisements and news articles to analyze cultural discourse about the smartphone. We highlight two common tropes: one calling for increased technological integration, the other urging individuals to dis-integrate the smartphone from their lives. We examine the idealized subject positions of these two narratives and show how both simplistic stories call on the same overarching values to compel opposing individual actions. We thereby reveal the conflicts individuals experience in trying to align and account for their own actions in relation to multiple contradictory narratives. We end with a call for the CHI community to tell and provoke more complicated stories of the smartphone and its relationship to core values in conversations, publications, and future designs. ”