Learning from Non-Users

This session is facilitated by Jonathan Healey, Sydney Luken

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About this session

In environments increasingly shaped by automated decision-making, voices of people who actively resist or maintain a nuanced relationship with certain technologies become ever more critical. While such “non-users” are commonly seen by technologists as adversarial or warranting conversion, an empathetic consideration can reveal values-based concerns and perceived social implications.

In this workshop, we’ll examine how non-users’ stories can positively impact the ways in which we consume, advocate, and develop digital resources. We’ll introduce an approach to considering the social, ethical, and personal dimensions that might be at stake. Participants will then reflect on their own experiences as non-users to better understand the values, expectations, and sense of responsibility that shape their relationships with technology.

Finally, we’ll work together to sketch action plans for promoting critical awareness of non-use, and for incorporating insights from these situations into the responsible development of technology.

Goals of this session

Participants will:

Be introduced to the concept of non-use as a critical signal of a technology’s social implications.

Practice an approach to recognizing the value claims and assertions implicit within peoples’ stories of non-use.

Propose action plans to either expand critical awareness of non-use or to incorporate insights from non-use in the responsible development of technology.

Here is a link to access the slides from the session: