Mobile Networked Text Communication: The Case of SMS and Its Influence on Social Interaction

Mobile Networked Text Communication: The Case of SMS and Its Influence on Social Interaction

Louise Barkhuus (University of Glasgow, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch172
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Abstract

This chapter introduces a qualitative study of the use of mobile text messaging (SMS) and reflects on how SMS influences social interaction. It describes how this new communication technology is used to maintain social relations and how it generally assists users in their everyday activities. Three issues are highlighted: how users use SMS to overcome shyness, how they use it for micro-grooming, and how they are able to control messages to their advantage. It is argued that SMS facilitates users in their everyday life through the ways it supports awareness and accountability. These characteristics make the communication channel a “social translucent” technology, contributing to its popularity. It is suggested that simple information and communication technologies such as SMS can provide powerful tools in new designs of information and communication technologies.

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