Propagating the Ideal: The Mobile Communication Paradox

Propagating the Ideal: The Mobile Communication Paradox

Imar de Vries (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch244

Abstract

In this chapter, visions of mobile communication are explored by focussing on idealised concepts surrounding wireless technology. By examining sources on the development, marketing, and use of wireless technology, I contextualise these visions within earlier accounts of ideal communication found in media history and isolate the regularities that are part of these accounts. On close examination, a paradox reveals itself in these regularities, one that can be described as resulting from an uneasiness in the human communication psyche: an unfulfilled desire for divine togetherness that clashes with individual communication needs. While the exact nature of this paradox—innate and hardwired into our brains, or culturally fostered—remains unknown, however, I assert that the paradox will continue to fuel idealised ideas about future communication technology. I conclude with the observation that not all use of mobile technology can immediately be interpreted as transcendental, and that built-in locational awareness balances the mobile communication act.

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