In this article we present a “methodological assemblage” and technological prototype connecting autoethnography to the practices of self-research in personal science. As an experimental process of personal data gathering, one of the authors used a low-tech device for the active registration of events and their perception, in a case study on disengaging from his smartphone. For the visualization of this data the other author developed a novel treatment of fieldnotes in analytic autoethnography through an open source, interactive notebook. As a proof of concept, we provide a detailed description of the corresponding protocol and prototype, also making available the notebook source code and the quantitative-qualitative open dataset behind its visualization. This highly personalized methodological assemblage represents a technological appropriation that combines self-research and autoethnography—two disciplinary perspectives that share a type of inquiry based on situated knowledge, departing from personal data as empirical basis. Despite recent autoethnographic literature on the phenomenon of self-tracking and the Qualified Self, our contribution addresses a lack of studies in the opposite direction: how the practice of self-research mediated by technology can lead to bridges with digital autoethnography, validating their hybrid combination. After addressing diverse conceptual, ontological and methodological similarities and differences between personal science and autoethnography, we contextualize the case study of digital disengagement and provide a detailed description of the developed self-protocol and the tools used for data gathering.
Senabre Hidalgo, E., & Greshake Tzovaras, B. (2023). “One button in my pocket instead of the smartphone”: A methodological assemblage connecting self-research and autoethnography in a digital disengagement study. Methodological Innovations. https://doi.org/10.1177/20597991231161093