Virtual Interactions via Smartphones

Virtual Interactions via Smartphones

Jeongyoon Lee (University at Albany – SUNY, USA) and R. Karl Rethemeyer (University at Albany – SUNY, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0315-8.ch016
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The recent boom in the use of smartphones has led to an expansion of the concept of cyber behavior to include nearly perpetual virtual contact through mobile devices. This chapter addresses the issue of mobile cyber behavior by identifying key dimensions of virtual interactions through smartphones. While most prior studies focused on mobile technology from a technical perspective, this article takes a sociotechnical perspective, focusing on aspects of human behavior in the context of a new technical system (i.e., smartphones). The authors’ review of this literature suggests that mobile phone cyber behavior develops along three primary dimensions – the “3Cs” of: contextualization, customization, and convenience.
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The study of cyber behavior via mobile phones is in its infancy largely because the smartphone as an integrated voice and Internet device did not emerge until 2007 (West & Mace, 2010). In recent times, the study of smartphone users’ virtual interactions has become the object of interdisciplinary behavioral study focused on how virtual spaces are mediated by Internet-enabled mobile devices where the window on that world is limited to 3.5 inches. To understand the development of smartphone users’ virtual interactions, we need to briefly examine how such technologies have transformed our daily lives through the melding of online and offline behaviors. Though the studies are not numerous, the existing literature shines a light on a number of important theoretical and empirical trends.

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