Mobile Phone Identity: The Mobile Phone as Part of Me

Mobile Phone Identity: The Mobile Phone as Part of Me

Michelle Carter (University of Washington, USA), Varun Grover (Clemson University, USA) and Jason Bennett Thatcher (Clemson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch101
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A Conceptual Overview

Identity can be described as “a way of organizing information about the self” that defines what it means to be who one is (Clayton, 2003). People have multiple identities because they perform multiple roles (e.g. parent, student, database developer), affiliate with multiple groups (e.g. an organization, a political party, being English), and choose multiple personal characteristics (e.g. honest, creative, hardworking) (Burke & Stets, 2009). An important aspect of identities is that, whether they relate to roles, to groups, or to the person as a distinct entity, they act as “benchmarks” or standards that guide and shape individuals’ thinking and behaviors (Burke & Stets, 2009; Clayton, 2003).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Dependence: A dimension of mobile phone identity, reflecting the extent to which young adults express feelings of reliance when thinking about themselves in relation to mobile phones.

Mobile Phone Identity: The set of meanings attached to the self in relation to mobile phones.

Self-Expansion: Including resources and characteristics of an important relationship within the self-concept.

Self-Esteem Motive: The desire to seek out situations that are congruent with meanings contained in an identity, because doing so maintains and enhances self-esteem.

Relatedness: A dimension of mobile phone identity, reflecting the extent to which young adults express feelings of connectedness when thinking about themselves in relation to mobile phones.

Emotional Energy: A dimension of mobile phone identity, reflecting the extent to which young adults express feelings of confidence, enthusiasm, and emotional strength when thinking about themselves in relation to mobile phones.

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