The role of digital technologies during relationship breakdowns

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, 2016, 27 pp. 371 - 382
Issue Date:
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© 2016 ACM. Relationship breakdowns are undoubtedly difficult. Access to and use of technology can exacerbate the situation. In our networked society, shared lives generate vast amounts of shared digital data which can be difficult to untangle, whilst social media can provide an outlet to emotions that can take a public and often persistent form. In this paper, we report on a qualitative study that considered the role of technology in the process of a relationship breaking down. Four main themes emerged in our findings: communicating about the separation, change in social status, shared digital assets, and moving on. Opportunities for design are identified in reducing misunderstandings via CMCs, enhancing social media, supporting intimacy in distributed families, and refining service provision.
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