Amy Gonzales

Maintaining Cell Phone Access for Health and Well-Being: Technology Maintenance

Date: October 2, 2015

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Room: Wells Library, Room 030


Over 50% of people in poverty in the US no longer have a landline telephone and the same population is more likely to have a no-contract cell phone plan. As a result, the poor may increasingly experience short-term phonelessness, which may disrupt access to healthcare and other services. I will discuss two qualitative studies on the need for stable cell phone access in low-income communities, ongoing barriers to stable access, and the consequences of this ‘dependable instability’. I use the concept of ‘technology maintenance,’ for thinking about the changing nature of the digital divide.


Amy Gonzales, an Assistant Professor of Telecommunications at IU, completed her PhD in Communication from Cornell in 2010. She has a MA from Cornell in Communication and a MA in Social Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines the effects that communication technologies have on individual identity, social support, and well-being. She is especially interested in these effects for people from disadvantaged communities. Recent studies have explored everyday use of social media in situ, as well as the effectiveness of new systems designed to improve physical and psychological well being.