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Mobile Communication, the Internet and the Net of Social Relations. Friedrich Krotz University of Erfurt, Germany. Changing the Perspective: Analyzing the Mobile Phone vs. Analyzing the Everyday life of the people. Overview. Mediatization: becoming mediated by media

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Mobile communication the internet and the net of social relations l.jpg

Mobile Communication, the Internet and the Net of Social Relations

Friedrich Krotz

University of Erfurt, Germany


Changing the perspective analyzing the mobile phone vs analyzing the everyday life of the people l.jpg

Changing the Perspective: Analyzing the Mobile Phone vs. Analyzing the Everyday life of the people


Overview l.jpg

Overview

  • Mediatization: becoming mediated by media

  • Changing Social Relations by Mobile Phone and the Internet

  • But different changes by Mobile Phone and the Internet, refering to relations

  • Conclusions: Mediatization


1 mediatization becoming mediated by the media l.jpg

1 Mediatization: becoming mediated by the media

Changing communication in society, culture and by individuals


Mediatization l.jpg

Mediatization

  • Means a long term process of changing conditions of communication

  • as new media come up and old media are used in new ways and so the media environments of the people are changing

  • new forms of communication today (mainly: Mobile Net, Internet, Interactive Communication and the Mix of all)


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Mediatization

  • As a construct (like Globalization and Individualization) to describe the development of the digital media becoming a part of culture and society

  • As a micro concept: to describe the changing everyday life of men and women by more and more using digital media

  • As a macro concept to describe the changing of economy, culture, society


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Everyday Life in the industrial society


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Everyday life in the media society

The Media


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Consequences

  • All areas of life are concerned: leisure and work,

  • new “realities” and situations came up

  • new orientations by reference and membership groups

  • new experiences, roles, social relations

  • New forms of identity and of forms of living together


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2 Changing social relations by Mobile Phone and Internet


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In the industrial Society

Most people mainly lived in an net of personal, social and parasocial relations

  • Personal Relations maintained by Face-to-face-communication,

  • With media of interpersonal communication being helpful from time to time

  • Maintained by mass media (parasocial relations)

  • (all media help to maintain social relations between social groups)


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The Net of (para-)social/personal Relations

Ally McBeal

Aunt

Working Colleague

Mother

Person

Aquaintance

Partner

Neighbour

Friend


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Social Net by Membership- and Reference Groups

Social groups/classes …

Hobbygroup

Fans of the same

Soccer club

Team at the job /Peergroup

Person

Family

Fans liking the

same Music style, soap ...

Religion


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The digitally mediated everyday life

Hobbygroup

Fans of the same

Soccer club

Ally McBeal

Aunt

Team at the job /Peergroup

Working Colleague

Mother

Person

Person

Aquaintance

Partner

Neighbour

Family

Friend

Fans liking the

Same Music style

Religion


In the upcoming media society l.jpg

In the upcoming Media Society

  • The net of everyday life interaction and communication

  • is intertwined and intermingled by a net of digitally mediated forms of communication

  • especially by mobile phone and Internetrelated PC (more and more refering to interactive communication)

  • but how and with which effects?


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Thesis: changing situations of Communication

For both the Internet and the mobile phone:

  • The use changes the situation a person is in as it separates from the present persons

  • The use in addition produces a simultaneous second situation as it connects with another person

  • Even the presence of a media influences the situation: It is a latent possibility. It serves to present myself in a specific way and to manage impression. It serves to control the situation.


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Mobile phone and a given prior situation

Common face-to-face-Situation

Person A

Person B

Person D

Person C

Adresses a specific person

Control of situation


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Computer/Internet and a given prior situation

Home/Office

Enter an open „virtual“ space

Person A

Household mebers or office colleagues

You must not adress a person, thus open for new relations

Politics of the family/the office


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Conclusion

  • Mediatization: We more and more are in such simultaeous situations

  • Both media

  • Separate from the actual situation - but what type of situation?

  • Connects with other persons - but what type of persons?

  • Helps to control the situation - but what type of situation?


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3 Differences between Internet/PC and Mobile Phone refering to relations

  • Thesis

  • Mobile phone and Internet/PC affect situation in a different way: Each changes another type of situations and each connect to another type of additional situation


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Thus

  • Each of them is important for different situations

    • which it changes and

    • which it creates

  • by technical features

  • by Culture


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The Internet


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Internet/PC

  • Traditionally and by culture, the computer is seen as a stand allone computer, which may have a connection to the Internet, in addition („Internet inside of PC“)

  • Technically, Internet/PC is mostly used at home or in office, as they are not so easy to transport


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  • Thus, Internet/PC

  • Is important for the politics of the family and organizes difference, e.g. between man and woman

  • separates from relations to colleagues, household and family (specific place or room)

  • Using the internet is organized as entering a virtual space, there you can maintain existing relations, but you also can start new relations


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Mobile Phone


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The mobile phone

  • Is culturally understood as a phone (although it is a little computer). Therefor, it seen to be used mainly to speak with a selected other person (or send him or her a SMS), the adress of which you know

  • Technically it may be used (nearly) everywhere, as the connecting nets are everywhere and it is easy to transport


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Thus, the mobile phone

  • Mostly plays a role to control situations and manage impressions outside of home

  • Mostly separates from unknown people in unknown situations/does not disturb relations

  • Using the mobile phone means you must adress a specific person with his/her phone number – it connects mainly with known persons

  • You can only maintain existing relations


Personal relations by internet pc mobile phone l.jpg

Separates from relations to family/colleagues

Is important for the politics of family

Using the Internet is organized to enter a specific „virtual“ space

There one can maintain personal relations, but you one can also start new relations

Separates from often unknown persons/ no relations

Helps to Controll the situation /manage impressions

Signalizes a life style

Connects with known persons an identifier of which you must know

Helps to maintain relations in mobile times

Personal Relations byInternet/PC Mobile phone


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4 Conclusions: Mediatization

  • Every individual lives in a space of possible contacts

  • and in a net of personal, social and parasocial relations, based on all types of communication contacts:

    • Interpersonal face to face

    • Interpersonal mediated

    • Parasocial

    • interactive/artificial


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Starting from the everyday life of people we know:

  • There is a space of possible communication contacts

  • a net of social, personal and parasocial relations based on realized communication contacts, more and more by different media


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Social, Parasocial, Personal Relations

3.are important for social integration, the roles of a person, his or her experiences, reflection, inner dialog and thus for his or her social character and his identy

4.„A person is a society in miniature, as she or he consists of the roles and experiences made in roles“ (Lindesmith and Strauss, following Tamotsu Shibutani)


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  • This space of possible contacts and also the net of relations is probably changed by the digital media

  • But these changes depend on which media is used and which cultural and technical conditions are given

  • Not only relations change, but in a similar way the orientation given by reference groups and membership groups


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As a result about Mediatization:

  • The communicational and relational net of everyday live is overlapped by the net of digitalized communication

  • An intertwining and intermingling net of everyday life including digital media comes into existence, which gets more and more importance/different influences:

  • The mobile phone separates from more unknown situations and helps to maintain existing relations

  • The Internet/PC separates from given more stable structures and offers also new relations


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If In/PC and Mobile phone are of future importance

  • we can conclude that different types of new persons will come into existence, depending on their media use

  • How stable are they? How different? It depends on what?

  • This needs long term empirical research

  • as a result of Mediatization/Element of Medium Theory


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We are living in a huge experiment Who Controls?(Thanks for your attention)[email protected]


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