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Social Implications of Mobile Communication. Kerry Bodine Isabella Fung Neema Moraveji. Overview. General Trends Fastest Growing Population Smart Mobs Mobile Gaming. Time . When is somebody considered late? Time is ‘softened’, blurred Micro-coordinate schedules with others

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social implications of mobile communication

Social Implications ofMobile Communication

Kerry Bodine

Isabella Fung

Neema Moraveji

  • General Trends
  • Fastest Growing Population
  • Smart Mobs
  • Mobile Gaming
  • When is somebody considered late?
    • Time is ‘softened’, blurred
  • Micro-coordinate schedules with others
    • “I’m at the mall now, where are you?”
  • Don’t have to set aside time & place for communication
    • Enables other activities, talk on-the-go
  • Public and private boundaries change
    • e.g., one person at home, one in restaurant
  • Physical space vs. Virtual space
    • Norms in one space != norms in other space
    • Social conflict
    • e.g. Driving
  • Trade-off: leash or freedom?
  • Direct correlation: phone use , tolerance
    • Britain: 45% of age 24+ say ban phone in public
    • Compare to only 25% under age 24
  • Subculture grew out of business models of cell operators
    • Pricing models created demand for new language
  • Generation Text creates a teen-only zone
    • 80%+ of age 45+ have never sent SMS (global users)
  • Permeates into “real life”
    • Dictionary Co’s published SMS dictionaries
    • Jeep Cherokee used “A4X4DABLE” in advertisement
the elderly population
The Elderly Population
  • 2000 figure represents a 12% increase over 1990.

US elderly population in millions

what this market means to us
What this Market Means to Us
  • Improve quality of life through increased security & autonomy
    • Social Isolation
    • Being Lost
    • Needing Assistance
  • By 2007, people age 50+ willaccount for 25% of all onlineretail spending

Sources: Jupiter &

what s happening around us
What’s Happening Around Us?









Social Revolution

smart mobs
“Smart Mobs”

Dynamic cooperation over geographical distances

the battle of seattle 12 99
The “Battle of Seattle”: 12/99
  • Protestors coordinatedspontaneously anddynamically with:
    • SMS en masse
    • mobile phones (voice)
    • email from laptop PCs
    • PDAs on the net
  • Protestors maintained organizational continuity
  • Without Smart Mob ‘swarming’ tactics, just a mob
smart mob models
Smart Mob Models
  • p2p: location-sensitive buddy list (
  • Master/Slave: 1 million total, tens of thousands within an hour of first SMS volleys (protests)
  • Examples
    • Smart, Dynamic, Real Communities (
    • Dynamically solve trafficcongestion among peoplein cars
    • Distributed computing:ad-hoc supercomputer
next mcommerce goldmine games
Next mCommerce Goldmine: Games
  • Worldwide Revenue Forecast in 2005

Mobile gaming: $5 billion or 23%

Total Mobile Commerce Revenue: $22.2 billion

  • In 2005, 80% of US and Europe wireless phone users will play online games on wireless devices (200 million people)

Sources: Jupiter Research, Yankee Group

gaming trends
Gaming Trends

Single-player, arcade-style

Multi-player, interactive & social

    • Japan, Korea, HK, Taiwan, Scandinavia
    • What’s common about these? 2.5/3G networks
  • Why multiplayer gaming?
    • Increased interaction with friends, new and old
    • Engaging games involving long-term contact
    • Look at PC gaming industry trend to multiplayer
      • SimCity & EverQuest moving to mobile phones
gaming business models
Gaming Business Models

Airtime minutes(carriers)

+Flat-fee Subscription($1 - $4 per 30 days)

+ Pay-per-Play


$5 billion by 2005

gladiator by jamdat
“Gladiator” by Jamdat
  • One of the most successful mobile apps
  • 850,000 people, 10 million minutes after 1 year
  • ‘Hooked’ users & casual users
psychological implications of social gaming
Psychological Implications of Social Gaming
  • Anthropomorphism of device
    • “We’re like buddies”
  • Removes sense of displacement:
    • Rather than becoming a character, the person actually represents himself in a mobile game
  • Local confrontation
    • If someone loses, he might lose his temper and seek revenge
  • Mobile Junkies Reshaping Society?,1284,55561,00.html
  • Euro Teens Understand This,1382,53659,00.html
  • Tiny Cell Phone or Big Brother?,1382,57040,00.html
  • Configuring the Mobile User: Sociological and Industry Views
  • Mobile Telephony in a Connected Life
  • Going Wireless: Behavior & Practice of New Mobile Phone Users.
  • The computer for the 21st Century. Mark Weiser, Scientific American 1991.
  • The Second-Order Effects of Wireless. Alan Cooper, April 2001.
  • Universal Access to Mobile Telephony as a Way to Enhance the Autonomy of Elderly People
  • The Texting Ritual: Text-messaging and the social significance of mobile plan use
  • Europes teens lead the Texting wave,0,79714.story?coll=bal%2Dpe%2Dpluggedin
  • The Social Consequences of Mobile Telephony
  • Smart Mobs
  • Pirates! Using the Physical World as a Game Board, Staffan Bjork, Jennica Falk, Rebecca Hansson, Peter Ljungstrand
  • Mobile Commerce Projections,4621,290409,00.html
  • Mobile gaming market to hit $5 billion mark by 2006,,t269-s2086026,00.html
  • Multiplayer – the Only Mobile Game
  • Carriers Make Full-Court Press for the Teen Market
  • Handango Launches Mobile Gaming
  • Playtime,1650,43129,00.html
  • Sweet Sixteen for AT&T Wireless’ New mMode series and nGame