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Conference Papers Year : 2018

Aware but not in Control


The wide distribution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has affected our lives in the working environment as well as in private and social contexts and has done so not only in a positive, but also threatening way. Researchers and scholars have therefore called for a sustainable and value-based design of technologies. However, in order to propose better designs, we first need to understand how ICTs affect users. While many studies have focused on the effects of the internet, smartphones, and social media, reported results suggest that the influences of these technologies are complex and often depend on contextual factors. This study aims to provide a starting point for future value-based designs of ICTs by offering insights on how students, as representatives for regular users of new technologies, experience the changes ICTs have brought to their lives. A qualitative content analysis of twelve in-depth, semi-structured interviews identifies values that flourish with ICTs but also discovers paradoxical effects: ICTs affect many of these values also in a negative way. Results indicate that users of ICTs are aware of negative effects, but lack the control to change their own behavior. Our findings point out that users need better protection and motivate the adoption of ethical design frameworks for ICTs.
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Dates and versions

hal-02001954 , version 1 (31-01-2019)





Kathrin Bednar, Sarah Spiekermann. Aware but not in Control. 13th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC13), Sep 2018, Poznan, Poland. pp.202-218, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-99605-9_15⟩. ⟨hal-02001954⟩
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