Waycott, J; Vetere, F; Pedell, S; Morgans, A; Ozanne, E; Kulik, L
(Association for Computing Machinery, 2016-05)
This paper considers what we can learn from the experiences of people who choose not to participate in technology-based social interventions. We conducted ethnographically-informed field studies with socially isolated older adults, who used and evaluated a new iPad application designed to help build new social connections. In this paper we reflect on how the values and assumptions guiding the technological intervention were not always shared by those participating in the evaluation. Drawing on our field notes and interviews with the older adults who chose to discontinue participation, we use personas to illustrate the complexities and tensions involved in individual decisions to not participate. This analysis contributes to HCI research calling for a more critical perspective on technological interventions. We provide detailed examples highlighting the complex circumstances of our non-participants' lives, present a framework that outlines the socio-technical context of non-participation, and use our findings to promote reflective practice in HCI research that aims to address complex social issues.