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The tyranny of the everyday in mobile video messaging

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Publication date7/05/2016
Host publicationCHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
Pages4781-4792
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450333627
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper reports on how asynchronous mobile video messaging presents users with a challenge to doing 'being ordinary'. 53 participants from three countries were recruited to try Skype Qik at launch for two weeks. Some participants embraced Skype Qik as a gift economy, emphasizing a special relationship enacted through crafted self-presentation. However, gift exchange makes up only a small proportion of conversation. Many participants struggled with the self-presentation obligations of video when attempting more everyday conversation. Faced with the 'tyranny of the everyday', many participants reverted to other systems where content forms reflected more lightweight exchange. We argue that designing for fluid control of the obligations of turn exchange is key to mobile applications intended to support everyday messaging.