The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone's Impact on Society by Rich Ling

By Rich Ling

It is a excellent booklet for the reader to appreciate new verbal exchange units and the affects on society. The adjustments and problems additionally mentioned within the publication.

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Additional info for The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone's Impact on Society (Interactive Technologies)

Sample text

Indeed one needs to understand issues at this level in order to understand the design of technology. Another, perhaps more serious, problem with the affordances approach is that it is tautological. In many respects, the concept of affordances suffers from the same critique that has been leveled at the structural functionalism of Talcott Parsons. It has been said of structural functionalism that if a social function exists, there must be some functional reason for its existence. Thus, the functions are defined in terms of their functions.

We are finding new and unexpected uses for and ways of using mobile telephones. Let me illustrate this point: I was recently at an airport, waiting in line to pass through the metal detector on my way to a flight. I noticed a welldressed fellow ahead of me talking earnestly on his mobile phone. As we came up to the maw of the X-ray machine, he continued talking on his phone while he removed his outer jacket, empted his pockets, and placed his briefcase on the conveyor belt. Finally, at the last moment and without hanging up, he put the phone on the conveyor belt and walked through the metal detector himself.

Location transmission services, where one can locate the physical position of friends and colleagues via the use of mobile telephones, promises to allow the same type of radical shift in the way we organize our daily activities. Thus, mobile telephony is moving away from its traditional base into new, uncharted waters. The newness of the device means that to some degree we are making up the rules as we go along. We are finding new and unexpected uses for and ways of using mobile telephones. Let me illustrate this point: I was recently at an airport, waiting in line to pass through the metal detector on my way to a flight.

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