Disconnecting to Connect: Developing Postconnectivist Tactics for Mobile and Networked Technical Communication

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Abstract

In a networked society, humans are connected through mobile devices to always-on networks, and these technologies merge with us in new ways. In this environment, studying human-networked interactions involves an expanded type of usability. In this article, we argue that a key component of usability is how humans connect and disconnect from these networks. For this reason, the authors advocate studying how users connect and disconnect between online and offline contexts in their everyday life. Such an effort involves questioning our assumptions about the role of connection in usability and introduces methodological issues in studying these processes. These shifts require our research to be more multidisciplinary and more methodologically demanding, with major implications for the portability and durability of technical communication research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalTechnical Communication Quarterly
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Keywords

  • Connection
  • mobility
  • networks
  • usability
  • user experience

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