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Mizuko Ito. Japanese Youth and the Mobile Internet. Annenberg Center for Communication, USC Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus. Presentation Overview . Overview of Japanese youth and keitai (mobile phones) Particularities of youth demographic

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mizuko ito

Mizuko Ito

Japanese Youth

and the Mobile Internet

Annenberg Center for Communication, USC

Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus

presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • Overview of Japanese youth and keitai (mobile phones)
  • Particularities of youth demographic
  • Ethnographic examples of new social patterns and norms in keitai usage
    • Focus on mobile email/messaging
statistical overview
Statistical Overview
  • Keitai ownership
    • Students (12 years and up): 75.7%
    • Overall: 73.7%
  • Subscribe to mobile internet service
    • Student mobile phone users: 94.3%
    • All mobile phone users: 81%
  • Source: Video Research Survey July 2002
  • Keitai average monthly payments
    • Students: ¥7186 ($59)
    • Overall: ¥5613 ($46)
  • Source: IPSe Marketing Inc. Survey December 2002
mobile email summary
Mobile Email Summary
  • Short message/email users
    • Students: 95.4%
    • Overall: 75.2%
  • Over 5 messages/day
    • Students: 91.7%
    • Overall: 68.1%
    • Teens send 2X more emails than twenty somethings
  • Views message immediately
    • Students: 92.3%
    • Overall: 68.1%
  • Source: Video Research Survey July 2002
ethnographic study
Ethnographic Study
  • Interviews with 24 high-school and college students in winter 2000
  • Communication diary research with 17 users (8 high school and college students) in 2002
  • Focus on keitai as someplace, somewhere technologies
youth and politics of place
Youth and Politics of Place
  • Home context
    • Freedom of action
    • Spatially distanced from peers
  • School context
    • Limitations to social contact
    • Spatially co-present
  • Public Transportation and Street
    • Freedom of motion
    • Prohibition against voice calls on public transport and many restaurants
messaging and mobile email
Messaging and Mobile Email
  • Used in particular places for particular kinds of communication
    • For lightweight contact
    • When unsure if recipient is available for communication (eg. Late night)
    • When there are limits to voice calls
      • Classroom, public transportation, restaurants
  • Akin to note-passing, paging
mobile email peer spaces
Mobile Email Peer Spaces
  • Youths generally keep open channel with 2-5 intimate friends
  • Couples, in particular, maintain ongoing exchanges when apart
  • Expectation that these friends/partners are always available
  • Text-messaging creates virtual place of continuous connectivity and background awareness
peripheral awareness
Peripheral Awareness
  • “Are you up?”
  • “I’m walking up the hill now”
  • “Good night”
  • “The TV show was awful wasn’t it”
  • “I was out drinking until 2 and just woke up”
enhancing co presence
Enhancing Co-presence
  • Augmented co-presence
    • “This lesson is a pain”
    • “Where are you standing?”
    • “Try asking so and so”
    • “Check what time the train leaves”
  • Extensions of co-presence
    • “Thanks for the lift”
    • “I forgot to give you back the CD”
slide14

I am constantly checking my mail with the hopeful expectation that somebody has sent me a message. I always reply right away. With short text messages I reply quickly so that the conversation doesn’t stall.