Nearness: Family life and digital neighborhood

Siân Lindley

Abstract

Nearness influences why we communicate with others, what our obligations to them are, and what might emerge from these interactions. In this chapter, I unpack more carefully what nearness means when supporting interactions mediated by technology, through an analysis of the use of Wayve, a home messaging device. For remote families, the device was a way of enacting family relationships, allowing members to meet their felt obligations to stay in touch by creating common ground and highlighting opportunities for conversation. For those whose lives were more closely entwined, the device was used to highlight opportunities for action and to cement existing relationships. In either case, it is apparent that there is more to nearness than mileage; ideas of friendship and family are interwoven with propinquity, seen here as a mingling of lives, a knowledge of routine, or a need to co-exist.

Details

Publication typeInbook
PublisherSpringer
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