A Tale of Two Messaging Systems: Domestic Practices of SMS and IM


Date Thursday May 1st 2003
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

In the last few years text-based chat systems have become very popular among teenagers. In particular, teenagers have been among the lead adopters of both Short Message Service (SMS) and Instant Messaging (IM) technologies. Media attention has focused on some of the more exotic or sensational uses of both technologies, but considerably less is known about the day-to-day uses of these technologies. This talk posits that is the everyday uses of SMS and IM that are the reasons why both technologies have been adopted by teenagers. In addition to explaining the popularity of SMS and IM, examining these largely domestic technology practices offers insights into technology adoption in the home environment.


Rebecca E. Grinter is a member of the research staff in the Computer Science Lab at PARC. She received her Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Before joining PARC, she was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories. Her research focuses on users' experience of technologies. In particular she is interested in how people use technologies at work, at home and in public for individual and collaborative purposes.

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