Practicing Media – Mediating Practice | Managing Context Collapses: The Internet as a Conditioning Technology in the Organization of Practices
This study shows how people use the Internet in the structuring of daily life, based on qualitative data from 17 U.S. participants, collected through an interview-diary-interview method. I argue that the Internet has the capacity to collapse off-line contexts, essentially making it possible to perform several practices in previously unrelated settings. After introducing practice theory as a lens through which to understand everyday practices, I outline 4 different ways people valuate this capacity in relation to the organizing of their daily lives. I further discuss how these valuations are manifested differently in people’s actual uses of the Internet, and conclude that the valuations and their manifestations bear witness to both wanted and unwanted off-line context collapses.