Technology appropriation

We are all consumers of technology. We adopt technology out of our curiosity or peer pressure and we consume as we wish.

However, the story doesn’t end here. We also assign our own subjective meaning to technology that we consume. Designers, design technology in a certain way and we consume it in a way to be more comfortable for us. This is what is called as technology appropriation. 

“Goods are neutral, their uses are social, they can be used as fences or bridges.” Douglas and Baron(1996)

In our recent paper, we briefly touch upon this concept. [Read Here]

Recently something funny happened to me. My mom got a smart phone but she is not very good at using touch screen. In general her approach to the technology is rather unusual. For example when she writes a message to me in Skype, she doesn’t know that there is a BIG button called “space”. So she always puts “.” between every word! Something like this:

Going back to the story. We made a Viber group with my sisters and mom to make our communication easier. Since my mom doesn’t know how to use the touch screen, she came up with her own solution to communicate with us. Guess what!


She wrote: Dear S. I love you

She draws by her finger and post the image! I am not sure how easy it is to find the drawing app but apparently for her it is easier. I think this is a good example of the technology appropriation!

Do you have any of these examples?

P.S. Special thanks to Ann Samoilenko for introducing me the concept.

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