Domesticating the Internet

Client name withheld

A longitudinal study on how mothers use the internet to manage their homes and families.

In 2010, twenty-five women showed us how they use the internet to care for their home and family. They logged online tasks. They defined their roles as family stewards. And they revealed expectations and newfound powers the internet brought to their everyday lives.

Two years later, we checked in again. Twelve participants returned, showing us how mobile technology influences their internet usage and household management strategies.

What’s changed?

We see a shift in conception of time and tasks. Prior to the internet, participants planned their time around tasks — store, bank and school hours drove their schedules.

Today, we see participants fitting tasks around their time. They fragment online tasks to fit small openings in their schedules regardless of location. Online activity is filling up down time and interlacing family time. Participants’ sense of productivity is rising with their newfound control — and one new mode of productivity is the two-minute task.

The Study at a Glance

2010

25 Participants
10 Days Online
32 Self-Reporting Activities
5,600 Data Points

2012

12 Participants
6 Days Online
10 Self-Reporting Activities
624 Data Points