How Do People Actually Use Their Smartphones?

Byron Reeves is the Paul C. Edwards Professor of Communication at Stanford University. He teaches courses in mass communication theory and research, with particular emphasis on psychological processing of interactive media. His research includes message processing, social cognition, and social and emotion responses to media, and has been the basis for a number of new media products for companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, in the areas of voice interfaces, automated dialogue systems and conversational agents. He is currently working on the applications of multi-player game technology to learning and the conduct of serious work. In his talk, Byron examines…

1. Measuring how people use digital devices is really hard. We know much less than we think.
2. Smartphone use progresses in hundreds of stops and starts per day, and in sessions that last only seconds.
3. An extreme range of content is experienced in rapid succession.
4. People follow their own threads through different digital content, atomizing experiences that used to be considered whole.
5. There is increasing interdependence of content -i.e., social influences politics, play influenceswork, money influences health.
6. We need to reconfigure problem spaces in the study of technology to better reflect actual technology use.