The Mobile Connection book cover

The Mobile Connection

The Cell Phone's Impact on Society

Has the cell phone forever changed the way people communicate? The mobile phone is used for “real time” coordination while on the run, adolescents use it to manage their freedom, and teens “text” to each other day and night. The mobile phone is more than a simple technical innovation or social fad, more than just an intrusion on polite society. This book, based on world-wide research involving tens of thousands of interviews and contextual observations, looks into the impact of the phone on our daily lives. The mobile phone has fundamentally affected our accessibility, safety and security, coordination of social and business activities, and use of public places. Based on research conducted in dozens of countries, this insightful and entertaining book examines the once unexpected interaction between humans and cell phones, and between humans, period. The compelling discussion and projections about the future of the telephone should give designers everywhere a more informed practice and process, and provide researchers with new ideas to last years.

Audience
mobile phone and other information appliance interaction designers, product designers, social psychologists and others involved with HCI and the design field

Paperback, 244 Pages

Published: May 2004

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-1-55860-936-5

Reviews

  • "...an important, accessible book on mobile telephony that is well worth reading." - J.R. McNeill, Interactions "This powerful book illustrates the dramatic changes that have been provided by the social dynamics of the cell telephone and the ways that many long-held customs are changing: What is polite? How important is the time for a meeting when participants reschedule continually? What do we mean by a community or social group? And why are those short, inconvenient-to-type text messages more common and more important than voice conversations? Rich Ling provides a compelling examination of the real impact of mobile telephony. It's not about technology, it's about people. We need more of these kinds of studies." --Don Norman, Co-Founder, Nielsen Norman Group and author of Emotional Design. "For perhaps the first time in history, it is possible to gain scientific insights into the social impact of a new communication medium in the medium's infancy. Rich Ling combines scientific rigor, penetrating insight, and attention to an extraordinarily timely subject—the social impact of mobile communications. His ideas about "micro-coordination" and "the softening of time" are fundamental. Ling has big ideas about what the new world of always-on and ubiquitous media mean to our daily lives, but he's not an armchair theorist — he was smart and fortunate enough to observe the earliest adopters of mobile telephones first-hand." --Howard Rheingold, Rheingold Associates and author of The Virtual Community. "Rich Ling probes the way the mobile phone influences lives, talk and interaction. His carefully documented investigations paint an authoritative picture that will command continuing interest . . .an impressive achievement." --James E. Katz, Ph.D., Professor of Communication, Rutgers University "We're shifting from wired to wireless. People are cutting loose from bounded groups, and want to connect anywhere and at anytime to their social networks. Cell phones lubricate this mobile-ized society. Rich Ling's pioneering work nicely pulls together the dance between mobile communication and the networked society." --Barry Wellman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto "I can't recommend this book highly enough. You could pack it into your bag and take it on holiday. It's the kind of book that will entertain you as much as the latest Pratchett." - Xristine Faulkner, London South Bank University "This is definitely a book for your shelf (but read it first!) and a copy for the library should help out those students "into" this fascinating and growing subject area. This book could be shared by psychologists, HCI experts and sociologists alike." - Xristine Faulkner, London South Bank University "I wish all books I had to read were this informative and this much pleasure. Thank you Rich Ling for a job very well done!" - Xristine Faulkner, London South Bank University "The book is encyclopedic in its documentation, statistical and textual, both of mobile telephony and, especially, of sociological and social psychological theory. The topic is fascinating, important, and of universal relevance." -John Stuckey in Ubiquity Magazine "In his new book, social scientist Rich Ling provides a sound introduction to the social study of mobile phones, arguing among other points that SMS faces a bleak future." - Howard Rheingold --The Feature "This timely publication makes for very interesting reading." - Choice --M.Y. Rynn

Contents

  • Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Making Sense of Mobile Telephone Adoption Chapter 3: Safety and Security Chapter 4: The Coordination of Everyday Life Chapter 5: The Mobile Telephone and Teens Chapter 6: The Intrusive Nature of Mobile Telephony Chapter 7: Texting and the Growth of Asynchronous Discourse Chapter 8: Conclusion: The Significance of Osborne's PrognosisAppendix: Data Sources Used in the Analysis of Mobile TelephonyEndnotesBibliography Index

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