Last week-end, I was really concentrated on reading articles about mobile phones while in the train :
– Grinter, R.E. & Eldridge R., M.A. (2001). “Y do tngrs luv 2 txt msg?” (Why do teenagers love to texte messages”. Proceedings of the European CSCW Conference, 16-20 September 2001, Bonn, Germany. This paper presented interesting and relevant facts regarding SMS : 63% of messages are sent from teenagers’ own houses -> the use of texte message is preferred even though telephones are available. The report also rport on the misunderstandings associated with text message language (this reminds me a discussion with fab). Other facts reported : teenagers use text messaging to co-ordinate how and when to interact, revise and adjust arrangements and chat, The restrictive length of text messages allows users to forego conversational conventions and
reduces time spent on the interaction, Text messaging is cheaper, allowing teenagers to manage their expenses using prepaid vouchers, Text messaging supports quiet, private communication, Text messaging changes the dynamics of teenage communication but not the content, Exchanges are shorter but richer, Communication by text message is in real time allowing teenagers to change plans at a moments notice. Good report about texting
– Richard Ling (2001) : The social juxtaposition of mobile telephone conversations and public spaces. This paper shows that mobile telephones used in public spaces contradicts the taken for granted notions of public behavior : modulation of voices (and the resulting forced eavesdropping and threats to the decorum of the situation) as well as the complexity of managing two sets of social contexts with the additional imposition of a virtual interaction mediated via the mobile telephone.
– Weilenmann, A., & Larsson, C. (2001): Local Use and Sharing of Mobile Phones. In B. Brown, N. Green & R. Harper (Eds.) Wireless World: Social and Interactional Aspects of the Mobile Age. Godalming and Hiedleburg: Springer Verlag, pp. 99-115. This very sound paper shows that cell phones are often shared among teenage groups. It describes different shared uses : sharing SMS messages (by reading the message aould or by showing the display to others), “hands-on” sharing (the sharing of content is done through several people actually handling the phone), “it is smetimes impossible to understand from various observations th whome the phone actually belongs”. Cell phones are also shared with unknown others (for exchanging numbers for example).“The sharing of mobile phones observed in this study raises questions about the notion of the mobile phone as a personal device, belonging to and being used by one individual. (…) To a large extent the mobile phones of today are designed to be used by one single person at a time. People using the phones for collaborative purposes have to work around this. One approach could be to make the phones more flexible, supporting the private, individual use, as well as the collaborative, group-use described in this paper.”
– Rich Ling and Birgitte Yttri (2002) Nobody sits at home and waits for the telephone to ring: Micro and hyper-coordination through the use of the mobile
telephone”. Telenor FoU Research paper (forthcoming). This paper propose a very nice model of the use of cell phones. Since it is very close to my work, I will summarize it later in a more graphic way, in order to represent better all thoses uses.
A short note about the methodology : it’s interesting to see that in those studies, the methodology consist of overhearing others’ conversations !!!!