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“Break the Ice”: The Use of Technology to Initiate Communication in Public Spaces

Abstract : The use of mobile technologies in public spaces often serves to disconnect users from their surroundings and alienate them from current social setting. However, digital interactions are often seen as the most appropriate method for communicating with strangers because they can be impersonal and free people from the fear of face-to-face rejection and social judgment that is based on first appearance and impression. This paper aims to explore if the perceived sense of security when using internet and mobile technologies for communication could also be established in a public setting of a cafeteria and benefit individuals when they are lonely in a public space. For this purpose, we built a technology probe that facilitates digital interactions (e.g. games, instant messaging, collaborative sketching, etc.) between collocated individuals in a public settings of a cafeteria by placing tablet computers on all tables. Our exploratory study shows that people could benefit from such a system as it is likely to alter their common behaviour—a result of a new possibility of initiating communication without the fear of jeopardizing their integrity.
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Matjaž Kljun, Klen Čopič Pucihar. “Break the Ice”: The Use of Technology to Initiate Communication in Public Spaces. 12th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2016, Salford, United Kingdom. pp.143-149, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-44805-3_12⟩. ⟨hal-01449430⟩



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