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Implications of constant connectivity : exploring characteristics of a constantly connected lifestyle and how individuals negotiate its boundaries

Schuler, Miriam (2016) Implications of constant connectivity : exploring characteristics of a constantly connected lifestyle and how individuals negotiate its boundaries.

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Abstract:The phenomenon of constant connectivity might have the power to affect almost any aspect of our lives. Yet, especially in the private context, a better understanding of its dynamics is needed. This article explores the complexity of the always-on lifestyle of 25 German individuals. The findings of qualitative in depth interviews indicate a tendency of high connectivity potentially turning into the obligation to be always available and to react quickly. The process of defining one’s optimal level of connectivity seems to be highly interrelated with the dynamics of the individual’s network. In the context of interpersonal mediated communication a quest was expressed for more autonomy and self-determination. In relation to information consumption a more selective behavior was desired. Lastly, tensions in the context of particular connectivity levels were revealed as well as the strategies that individuals create to balance their personal connectivity needs with the demands of their environment. The findings of this study indicate a need to define some sort of connectivity personality to be better able to understand the effects of constant connectivity. More practically, better-designed services might help individuals to cope with the demands of constant connectivity. Limitations of this study are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70926
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