Based on daily usage, think of one item that you would consider, “most valuable?” Did you think of your cell phone? The list is virtually endless when it comes to the cell phone and it’s possibilities. It encompasses a flashlight, camera, gaming playability, and other utilities – all of these within a single handheld computer. Above all else, it offers communication — communication through text, call, email, games, social networking apps, and more. The opportunity to communicate with strangers from across the world is literally in the palm of your hand.
But what does this communication psychologically do to the user? New aspects of communication are now added and integrated into our daily life due to advancing technology. We started communication through picture, then language. This communication was very simple and direct. With mobilized communication, there’s more room for accidental interpretation, but there’s also more accessibility and opportunity.
Mobility as a concept is evolving with the growth of the mobile media industry. Mobility is a relative term referring to the ability to live freely in a geographical sense. In Expanding the ‘Mobile Concept,’ M. Kakihara and C. Sorensen argue that
“being mobile” is not just a matter of people traveling but, far more importantly, related to the interaction they perform — the way in which they interact with each other in their social lives” (pg.34).
Mobility has allowed humans more geographical freedom, but it also allows for expansion of human interaction in spatial, temporal, and contextual states.
Transportation and mobile communication work hand in hand. It is now possible to take time from work and the office, but still keep up to date on tasks, communication, and sales in your corporation. Due to this mobility, working from home is a possibility.
This global survey shows the telecommunication field by country in 2012:
According to a recent poll, US is among the lowest of percentage of workers in the telecommunication field. Countries with a higher percentage of telecommunication employees also claimed a higher rate of productivity (65% in Argentina) due to the flexibility that work now offered.
Mobility also affects a realm of temporality. Mobile media can manipulate the feeling of time in regards to human interaction. Communicating, particularly through text, is expected to happen in a reasonable amount of time, especially if the current conversation is important. Kakihara and Sorensen argue, through Barley’s research, that communication’s,
“ ‘instantaneity,’ … in the contemporary society in general and in cyberspace in particular further increases polychronicity of human activities.” (pg. 35)
This allows for relatively easier multi-tasking and achievement of goals.
Contextually, human interaction is mobilizing. Kakihara and Sorensen make clear that, “contextuality plays a critical role in constituting human interaction just as spatiality and temporality” (Pg. 36). We see change in human interaction in an obtrusive manner. Choosing to reject phone calls or texts is a new to the human interaction. It’s a passive way to dismiss communication with someone. Contextual mobilization also plays positive role in human interaction. Ability to communicate over various contexts lets individuals reach farther than their normal borders. Regardless of mood, situation, or timing an individual has the ability to communicate without contextual constraints. Ultimately, communication has become more flexible between 2 or mare parties and varies depending on that status of whoever is involved.
Kakihara and Sorensen show us the benefits of being aware of mobility as an expanding and changing concept. As technology advances, our understandings of spatial, temporal, and contextual mobility will evolve and become more complex. The human interaction is effected greatly due to this technology and as long as we are aware of its pros and cons, the continuous advancement of mobilization will open new opportunities for humanity.
Kakihara, M. and Sorenson, C. (December, 2001). Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept. Volume 22 (No.3).
[Global Communication Photograph]. Retrieved 10 February, 2014, from: http://www.merrimak.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Istock-Global-Communication-e1362173812347.jpg
BespokeTCBlog. (2012, Feb 21). US Being Left in the Dust of the Global Telecommunicating Revolution. Retrieved 10 February, 2014, from: http://bespoketc.com/blog/?p=1618,
Reaney, Patricia. (2012, Jan 25). About one in five workers worldwide telecommute: poll. Retrieved 10 Frebruary, 2014, from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-telecommuting-idUSTRE80N1IL20120125.