The role of digital technologies during relationship breakdowns

Wendy Moncur, Lorna Gibson, Daniel Herron

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    225 Downloads (Pure)


    Relationship breakdowns are undoubtedly difficult. Access to and use of technology can exacerbate the situation. In our networked society, shared lives generate vast amounts of shared digital data which can be difficult to untangle, whilst social media can provide an outlet to emotions that can take a public and often persistent form. In this paper, we report on a qualitative study that considered the role of technology in the process of a relationship breaking down. Four main themes emerged in our findings: communicating about the separation, change in social status, shared digital assets, and moving on. Opportunities for design are identified in reducing misunderstandings via CMCs, enhancing social media, supporting intimacy in distributed families, and refining service provision.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
    Subtitle of host publicationProc. CSCW'16
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3592-8
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2016
    Event19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing : CSCW 2016 - Hyatt Regency San Francisco, San Francisco, United States
    Duration: 27 Feb 20162 Mar 2016 (Link to conference website)


    Conference19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Francisco
    Internet address


    • Divorce
    • Separation
    • HCI
    • life transitions
    • computer mediated communications
    • service design


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