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By Sara Kiesler, Bozena Zdaniuk, Vicki Lundmark and Robert Kraut


Despite advances in technology, nearly everyone experiences technical challenges using home computers and the Internet. In a field trial of household Internet usage, 89 % of 93 families needed support from a computer help desk in the 1st year they used the Internet. However, usually only the most technically involved members of the family requested external technical support, and this behavior was associated with other computer-related behaviors in the household. We explore the process by which a family member with comparatively high technical skill or enthusiasm, often a teenager, becomes the family guru, Sara Kiesler is Professor of Human–Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University; she studies social and organizational aspects of technological change and communication systems. Bozena Zdaniuk is Data Management Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh; she is a social psychologist working in health psychology and mental health. Vicki Lundmark is a sociologist and current Senior Research Scientis

Year: 2013
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