Digital decoupling and disentangling: towards design for romantic break up

D. Herron, W. Moncur, E. van den Hoven

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    37 Downloads (Pure)


    Romantic relationships are often facilitated through digital technologies, such as social networking sites and communication services. They are also facilitated through 'digital possessions', such as messages sent to mobile devices and photos shared through social media. When individuals break up, digitally disconnecting can be facilitated by using those digital technologies and managing or curating these digital possessions. This research explores the break up stories of 13 individuals aged between 18 and 52. The aim of this work is to inform the design of systems focused on supporting individuals to decouple and disentangle digitally in the wake of a break up. Four areas of interest emerged from the data: communication, using digital possessions, managing digital possessions, and experiences of technology. Opportunities for design were identified in decoupling and disentangling, and designing around guilt. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDIS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4922-2
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
    Event12th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2017) - Centre for Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Duration: 10 Jun 201714 Jun 2017
    Conference number: 12


    Conference12th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2017)
    Abbreviated titleDIS 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    OtherSpace, Place and Interface
    Internet address


    • Curation
    • Decoupling
    • Digital possessions
    • Digital technologies
    • Disconnecting
    • Disentangling
    • Guilt
    • Management
    • Relationship break up
    • Technology use


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