In this article, wireless technology use is addressed with a focus on the factors that underlie wireless interaction. A de-construction of the information processing theories of user/technology interaction is presented. While commercial and useful applications of wireless devices are numerous, wireless interaction is emerging as a means of social interaction—an extension of the user’s personal image—and as an object of amusement and play. The technology/user interaction theories that have driven the discussions of computer assisted communication media are information richness, communicative action, and social influence modeling. This article will extend this theoretical view of wireless devices by using flow theory to address elements of fun, control, and focus. Then, these technology/user interaction theories are used with respect to wireless devices to propose areas for future research.
Two theoretical approaches will be examined. First, the view of wireless devices as communication media based in information richness theory is presented, followed by the theoretical view of wireless devices using the social networking theory perspective. Secondly, wireless media will be addressed as objects of play and of control. Finally, a model is developed showing the bidirectional impact of wireless devices as artifacts that influence culture and the resulting culture that in turn impacts perceptions of the wireless artifacts.