Home>Projects>Projects around 'the digital'> Digital Habits
Digital HabitsI've been puzzled for a long time about how different people make use of the clutter of digital media available to them. We develop habits of all kinds that help us make sense of or sometimes even wise use of the various bits of digital stuff to which we have access. What I think is most interesting are the assumptions we make about what digital habits particular groups of people have. In education, particularly at university, there are clear assumptions made about the digital habits of academics and their students. They tend to be ideals, as in the ideal online student or the ideal online teacher.
Beliefs by teachers in schools is even more worrisome. You find total acceptance of the banal claims about digital natives1or an indifference to the complex and often confusing digital habits of the young. You have to maintain some kind of intellectual buffer given the inane experience of computing and related technologies that takes place in most schools.
There are useful surveys that map broad brush usage patterns but I am more interested in what folk actually do, how they do it, how they understand what they are doing.
Habits are also interesting because they develop in what has become aflood of resourcesthat support all kinds of analysis.
How to think about these patterns of behaviours, these jumbles of people and stuff, the stuff that shapes what people do and the people that shape what stuff does in an uneasy negotiation. Here, I'm interested in bringing an ANT sensibility to bear on this phenomenon.
Habits are also interesting because they are essentially a delegation of work to a machine.
Seth Godindrew my attention to another aspect of DH, that is the efficiency one has with various bits of routine software2.