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Ricardo Gomez


Pushback to connectivity is a reaction against the overload of information and changing relationships brought about by communication technologies such as smart phones, tablets and computers connected to the internet. Overloaded users are pushing back against permanent connectivity, in an attempt to manage, limit or control their exposure and the saturation caused by ubiquitous and constantly connected communication technologies. This study examines a growing body of both academic and non-academic literature in which we identified five primary motivations and five primary behaviors related to pushback by communication technology users. 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. This work was done with Stacey Morrison.

Additional work analyzed images related to pushback: cartoons, posters, memes, illustrations, etc. Results of this study, conducted with Kirsten Foot, Stacey Morrison, Rose Paquet-Kinsley, and Meg Young (see below)

Publications and Presentations:

Gomez, R., Foot, K., Young, M., Paquet-Kinsley, R., Morrison, S. (2015) Pulling the Plug Visually: Images of Resistance to ICTs and Connectivity. First Monday. (20):11.

Foot, K. & Gomez, R. (2015). Studying Digital “Don’t Wants”: STS-Based Concepts, Methods and Findings on Resistance to ICTs. Accepted to 4S Conference, Society for Social Studies of Science, Denver, CO, Nov 2015.

Morrison, S., & Gomez, R. (2014). Pushback: Expressions of resistance to the “evertime” of constant online connectivityFirst Monday, 19(8). doi:10.5210/fm.v19i8.4902

Morrison, S. & Gomez, R. (2014). Pushback: the growth of expressions of resistance to constant online connectivity. Paper presented at iConference, Berlin, Germany, March 2014.

Young, M., (2014). Towards a Research Agenda on Technology Pushback. Paper presented at CHI’2014 pre-conference workshop. Toronto, ON. April 2014.

Gomez, R. & Morrison, S. (Nov 23, 2013). The Growing Movement to Break Technology Addiction. Op Ed column, Seattle Times.

Some reactions to the work on Pushback:

2016 UW Press Release
2014 UW Press Release
Seattle Times
Kiro News
TG Daily
Radio Canada International (radio, in Spanish)