In this paper, we present the results of a study of home computer usage among college students. Using Activity Theory as the theoretical framework and a sample of self-reported usage logs, we analyze purposes and tasks of the subjects’ computer sessions. We find that most participants mix hedonic with utilitarian computer uses during the same session and that they perform a number of unrelated computer-based tasks. We also identify a particular category of users, which we call social users because of their engagement with social networking sites and instant communications with their friends, who tend to perform more tasks than those who do not exhibit social behaviors in their computer sessions. The results of this study are informative and representative of the purposes and tasks for which college students use their computers at home.
Benbunan-Fich, Raquel; Adler, Rachel F.; and Mavlanova, Tamilla, "Patterns of Home Computer Usage among College Students: An Exploratory Study" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. Paper 112.