Mobility

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From reading both articles it becomes particularly clear that mobile media are at the centre of everyday life. From public transport (as mentioned in Ito’s article) to lectures theatres and even the intimate setting of a dining room table, the necessity to be contactable is ever present.

In Völker’s article “Mobile media and space” the distinction between the digital and physical spaces is drawn highlighting the fact that these “mediatic spaces” are simultaneously operating. Völker shows how the virtual world determines our actions and existence in the physical world. The main argument Völker projects is that “virtuality and reality intersect”, which I think is particularly relevant as we become more reliant upon mobile media not only as a means of communication but as an interactive source of information and entertainment.

An important aspect of media evolving is the fact that we are now not only consuming media but are active creators of mobile media; we can now personalize our mobile technologies, which highlights how media has adapted to our urban lifestyles.

Ito’s article “Mobile Phones, Japanese Youth, and the Re-placement of Social Contact” describes the necessity to regulate mobile media across space. Ito outlines specifically Japanese youth and how emailing in high school class rooms has overtaken the earlier era of passing notes across the classroom, this shows just how much media has become part of our everyday life. I can certainly relate to texting my friends on my mobile “discreetly” even if they were just sitting across the room or in an opposite classroom, the idea of passing notes across the room were foreign to me. There is now a culture in the classroom of concealing any evidence of sending a message that is enabled by mobile media.

Ito also talks about how the mobile phone is regulated on public transport in Japan which I found to be particularly interesting as it shows how there is now a code of conduct for mobile media and in some ways identifies the values of cultures, this reinforces the fact that mobile media is very much a part of everyday life. Building on this concept it can be said that mobile media is reworking the relationship between the public and private space in contemporary society and now there is acceptable behaviour of communicating in public.

What was particularly relevant in both articles was the notion of ‘communication mobility’ and how nowadays our physical movement provides the opportunity to communicate through technology, while moving across space. You only have to look as far as a train or bus and you will discover a combination of people making voice calls, texting, listening to their iPods or even reading the local paper on their iPhone showing how entrenched mobile media is in today’s society. I can also think of the very rare occasion when I have forgotten my phone and how disconnected I felt and how it threw out the entire day, even if I hadn’t spoken to anyone but had my phone it would have changed my mood for the whole day.

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One Response to “Mobility”

  1. sleung17 Says:

    I agree with you in relation to Ito’s discussion on mobile messaging as a powerful tool of mobile communication. Texts as distracting as they are, though have taken over the tradition of note passing in classes (I’ve also played a role in this during high school) mainly I think because not only are they discreet but there is a lesser chance of getting caught by the teacher. I think because we have so readily instituted the mobile phone into our lives, to be with out it, we feel an artificial attachment to it and feel that life is harder to work around it though really, shouldn’t be as difficult as perceived.

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