Smartphones and their users-Are they overwhelmed by the Smartness of these Devices?

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMK)

Abstract:

There have been a number of studies concerning the access and usage patterns of mobile phones since the first cellular phone appeared in 1979. With the appearance of the smart phone a recent field of research emerges within media and communication. This study focuses on what role a particular smart phone plays within the users’ communication practices. Combining individuality and mobility with communication, the iPhone changes the users’ way of communication completely. In addition to that, the use of the iPhone comprises self-representational characteristics. The study aims to research what role the user ascribes to the iPhone.

A field observation of iPhone users combined with qualitative focus group interviews will present more insight in how the iPhone maintains the users’ interpersonal relationships and fulfils their communication motives. The field observation might bear some general aspects about usage patterns of the iPhone, especially in public spaces. Supplementing the field observation, the focus group interviews will give some information about personal usage patterns and about the iPhone’s status within individual perceptions.

The use of smart phones like the iPhone influences the user’s ways of communication in positive as well as in negative ways. A constant access to various networks establishes a permanent availability, which entails major changes in the users’ way of communication and the users’ perception of time and space. In addition to that, the design and look of the gadget is a main appeal for iPhone users. Here the smart phone turns out to be an accessory with which people make statements to their surrounding. These statements can be of different nature. They can be based on image, fashion or design conscious in the user’s perception. This study intends to bring up new topics about the relationship between a technical device and its user

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