Conference Paper

Configuring Attention in the Multiscreen Living Room


We have conducted a video study of households in Scotland with cohabiting students and young professionals. In this paper we unpack five examples of how mobile devices are used by people watching television. In the examples we explore how screens are used together (a) in a physical ecology, (b) in an embodied way, (c) in an orderly way, and (d) with respect to others. We point out that mobile devices are routinely used to access media that is unconnected and unrelated to media on television, for example for sending and receiving messages, browsing social media, and browsing websites. We suggest that mobile devices are not used to directly enhance television programmes, but to enhance leisure time. We suggest that it is important, when considering mobile devices as second screens, not just to treat these as a design topic, but to pay attention to how they are interactionally integrated into the living room.


Rooksby, John; Smith, Timothy E.; Morrison, Alistair; Rost, Mattias; Chalmers, Matthew (2015): Configuring Attention in the Multiscreen Living Room. ECSCW 2015: Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20499-4_13. Springer, Cham. ISBN: 978-3-319-20498-7. pp. 243-261. Full Papers. Oslo, Norway. 19-23 September 2015