Me and My Cell Phone
178 Pages
English
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Me and My Cell Phone

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Learn more
178 Pages
English

Description

Cell phones and the Internet have been the recipients of in-depth research on their increased and rapid integration into everyday life and the innovative appropriations associated with them in many societies. The cell phone has attracted particular attention in its perceived abilities to both enhance and destruct social relationships. Our increased access to social media and to the cell phone has taken social networking to an unprecedented level. These communication technologies are revered by many as great, all-purpose, all-positive communication devices in spite of their flaws. They are overwhelmingly bestowed with agency and superiority. Too often, they are idolized with little regard to how they affect and are affected by their users on a personal level. The mutual shaping between technology and society is not adequately acknowledged. Technologies, in spite of the seemingly endless possibilities offered by their many functions, can quite literally be sterile and useless objects outside of conscious and tangible human effort. Cell phones and the Internet, though undoubtedly capable of providing myriad beneficial opportunities for their users, need at long last to be put in their place. This book is a contribution in that regard. Kindled by her own intimate history with her cell phone and a growing curiosity about ICTs in general, this book is a culmination of Crystal Powell�s thoughts, reactions to and interpretations of some of the literature on these technologies. The book draws on and critically reviews contributions by some leading authors on the social shaping of ICTs and social media to offer a more nuanced and complex understanding of technology in relation to those who use and are used by it.

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Published by
Published 24 April 2012
Reads 0
EAN13 9789956727278
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0048€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

E A N D M C E L P H O N E a
r E a o n T c l
i n v e y a L e
C R S T A L P O W E
ME AND MY CELL PHONE and Other Eays on Technology in Everyday Life
CRYSTAL POWELL
Me and My Cell Phone And Other Essays On Technology In Everyday Life Crystal Powell
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com
ISBN: 9956-727-14-8 ©Crystal Powell 2012
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
To my family, friends and supervisor for encouraging me to write
Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction…………………………………………1 Chapter 211: Me and My Cell Phone…………………………….... Chapter 3: Are Mobile Phones the New Talking Drums of Everyday Africa?....................................................................................................... 29 Chapter 4: ICTs and the Making and Breaking of Everyday Relations………………………………………………………....45 Chapter 5: Telephones, Cell Phones and Vulnerability in a Woman’s World……………………………………………………………59 Chapter 6: Drinks, Bottle Caps and Mobile Phones……………..73 Chapter 785: Social Media as a Tool for Activism………………… Chapter 8: The Internet and the Cell Phone……………………. 99 Chapter 9: Facebook Is What You Make It…………………….. 111 Chapter 10: ICTs, Strategy and Coping in the Western Cape…… 125 Chapter 11: Baby Steps into Langa Township: Running in Langa…………………………………………………………… 139 Bibliography and References………………………………….163
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Chapter 1 IntroductionInformation and communication technologies (ICTs) are fascinating devices. They have been systematically introduced to the world and have increasingly (and quite rapidly) become a normal part of 1 everyday life for many people. The cell phone , in particular, has become a major attribute to the human existence and indeed, those who do not own a cell phone can find themselves relegated to an uncomfortable, almost inexcusable, minority. The Japanese refer to cell phones as “keitai: something you carry with you”. More than a technological device that offers the freedom of mobility,keitairepresents a “snug and intimate techno-social tethering, a personal device supporting communications that are constant, lightweight, and mundane in everyday life” (Itoet al2005: 1, 20). On the surface,keitaiwould seem to be a generally appropriate term for the cell phone as its rapid integration into the daily lives of many could indicate such a cozy and comfortable tethering, perhaps taken for granted. However, a deeper look into these techno-social relationships could reveal a tethering of a slightly different nature; one of tension and insecurity, of frustration and forced contentment. Studies have shown that people willingly use cell phones because of their most assumed benefits including: constancy of communication, mobility, individual control and privacy (Horst & Miller 2006: 79), the compression of distance, agency stimulation and the upgrading of prestige and social status (de Bruijnet alWhether these assumed benefits prove 2009). accurate all, most, some or none of the time can influence the nature of the unavoidable techno-social tethering that one is (subconsciously) bound to develop with their technological devices.
1 I use the term cell phone here as I refer to the device in my casual referencing. Throughout the book, however, the terms cell phone and mobile phone are used interchangeably in accordance with the authors that I reference. 1