Pushback: Expressions of resistance to the “evertime” of constant online connectivity
Keywords:information overload, technology resistance, techno-stress, connectivity, Facebook suicide, technology addiction, slow media, balanced technology management, unplugging, disconnecting
As a result of the widespread connectivity provided by smartphones, laptops, and tablets, technology users can and often are continuously connected to the Internet and its communication services, a phenomenon some start to call “evertime.” However, many users who first embraced constant connectivity are now pushing back, looking for ways to resist being permanently connected and contactable. This pushback behavior is increasingly visible in the popular press, in personal blogs, and in a small number of academic studies. “Pushback” is a growing phenomenon among frequent technology users seeking to regain control, establish boundaries, resist information overload, and establish greater personal life balance. This study examines a growing body of both academic and non–academic literature, and identifies five primary motivations and five primary behaviors related to pushback. Primary pushback motivations include emotional dissatisfaction, external values, taking control, addiction, and privacy. Primary pushback behaviors are behavior adaptation, social agreement, no problem, tech control, and back to the woods. The implications these pushback motivations and behaviors pose to communication technology are discussed.
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