Connecting Families across Time Zones



Nowadays it has become increasingly common for family members to be distributed in different time zones. These time differences pose specific challenges for communication within the family and result in different communication practices to cope with them. This chapter discusses these challenges and practices based on a series of interviews with people who regularly communicate with immediate family members living in other time zones. We found that families rely on synchronous communication despite the time difference, implicitly coordinate their communication through soft routines, and show their sensitivity to time in various forms. These findings allow us to reflect on the meanings of time difference in connecting families, and design opportunities for improving the experience of such cross time zone family communication.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Microsoft Research AsiaBeijingChina

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