People worldwide are increasingly acquiring collections of virtual possessions. While virtual possessions have become ubiquitous, little work exists on how people value and form attachments to these things. To investigate, I led a study with 48 young adults from South Korea, Spain and the United States. The study probed on participants’ perceived value of their virtual possessions as compared to their material things, and the comparative similarities and differences across cultures. Findings show that young adults live in unfinished spaces and that they often experience a sense of fragmentation when trying to integrate their virtual possessions into their lives. These findings point to several design opportunities, such as tools for life story-oriented archiving, and insights on better forms of Cloud storage.
Odom, W., Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J., Hugera, A., Marchitto, M., Canas, J., Nam, T., Lim, Y., Lee, M., Seok, J., Kim, D., Lee, Y., Row, Y., Sohn, B., Moore, H. (2013). Fragmentation and Transition: Understanding the Perception of Virtual Possessions among Young Adults in Spain, South Korea, and the United States. In proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Paris, France. CHI ’13. ACM Press. (Local Copy, ACM Link)