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Lecture 9

Lecture 9: Technologies for Mobility / Mobility for Technologies

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Communication Studies
COMM 1101
Chris Russill

Lecture 9: Technologies for Mobility/Mobility for Technologies 1. Mobility as Telecommunications  Went through military development  Mobiles are everywhere and have become a core part of life  Humans are usually outnumbered by number of mobile phones (e.g. England)  1/3 of the world has no phone access; when they get it, it will not be a landline  Some countries in Africa have landlines, but they’re ignored because of the desire for mobiles that have a range of functionality  Mobiles barely deserve to be called phones at all; more like computers and databases  Moore’s Law: The increased rate of obsolescence; general description of how short a generation is for computer hardware o Miniaturization (social consequences)  Mobility is a design goal, not an outcome o Mobiles = trend  Pervasive Media: o Always on o All spaces  Developed a sense of always being connected to media world through mobiles  Not used for same reasons as laptops, but sometimes you do the same things but they’re for shorter periods of time o Longer periods of time, you use a laptop/computer Brand and Identity  Are you Coke or Pepsi? Mac or PC? IPhone or Blackberry?  No longer any spaces that are media spaces  Uniformity of audiences: media consumption anywhere or anytime, hard to assume what consumers are like o Demographic/behavioural rates means less and less  Switch to mobile is not just cutting a cord; private and public life more distinguished  Public sphere: many ways of participating in society (audience, etc.) determined by private reactions with friends, family, etc., and nothing public  Social construct of a stable work day is partly deconstructed by pressures of mobile phones, because they make us more accessible  Makes work place less specific of a place to go to  Blurs the role of student, relative, etc.  Roles are so small that they need accommodations from our bodies o Mobiles teach us new body language; hard for us to separate from phones o Sleep within reach of phone, on tables when we eat, take it to the bathroom  What’s socially acceptable is fluid; it changes all the time  What’s happening here, now, isn’t as important as what’s happening somewhere else  Our reality is less interesting than the story I will tell  MySpace portrait, partying pictures; appropriate documentation on having fun (camera phones)  Asks for a nostalgia that you’ve never experienced  Mobiles changed the previous media landscape  Mobiles make a ubiquity of screens everywhere  Ethic of absolute minimal attention to tasks that are normal and often necessary  Video games: sporadic interruption and little attention  Texting in class: physical affirmation that teacher’s don’t have your full attention  No space left where people aren’t trying to distract themselves somehow Mobile Identities  Removing the phone = removing the limb?  Sense of the self is extended into objects which also extend our sense (McLuhan)  Men less likely to check in on how people are doing via their phone, unless they’re talking to women (Australia)  Still perform gender expectations even when our bodies aren’t there (text)  Ability to pretend you didn’t get an message is always there  Texting challenges the “live” dynamics of conversation  Texting and mobile calls done tactically  Mobiles offer both access and a barrier  Communicating in public gets weirder  “Like a Little” o Comment on people you find attractive o Lurk, creep people o Communication devices used to avoid communication in their area  Flashmobs: convene people into the same space Mobile Polit
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