3-page essay

For this assignment, you will write a short 3-page essay examining your own experiences with an evocative object. Writing this paper should help you start thinking critically about technology by reflecting on your personal experiences with technology and its relation to society. Sherry Turkle (2008), a social informatics scholar, calls this approach “intimate ethnography”–“a way of listening that adds new dimensions to our understanding of how technologies affect our relationships and sensibilities” and “illuminates the subjective side of technological experience, how what we have made is woven into our ways of seeing and being in the world” (p. 14).

Refer to Gathman’s “Cell Phones” article as an example of this genre, paying particular attention to how the author uses personal stories to describe and comment on broader social and cultural themes relating to technology use and design. Then, think and write about your own experiences and observations with an object that you are familiar with. Your object does not have to be computer-based.

For example: When and how do you use it? How does it fit into your daily practices? What kinds of practices does it enable and extend? How does it limit your abilities to communicate and act? Who do you interact with while using the object? Do you have experiences of using your chosen object in different ways depending on the application or context of use, or have you seen other people or groups use it differently? You don’t have to answer all of these questions; you can focus on those that make sense in your example and/or come up with your own main themes. Above all, it should be a story of you.


In the interest of encouraging student creativity, the teaching staff strongly suggests that you not write about the following: computer (including your laptop), computer game system, or computer-based music playing device (including iPods, MP3 players, etc.). You are not permitted to write about your mobile phone.

This is an electronic submission. Upload your assignment to Canvas before 5 PM on the due date to receive full credit. The file must be in PDF or Word (.doc or .docx) format. Use 1″ (one inch) margins, 12-point font (or smaller), of a rea

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