L14.p4 - Mobile Social Networks and Social Practice A Case...

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Mobile Social Networks and Social Practice: A Case Study of Do. .. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/humphreys.html 1 of 18 09-03-05 08.41 JCMC Home Submit Issues Author Index Editors About JCMC Humphreys, L. (2007). Mobile social networks and social practice: A case study of Dodgeball. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication , 13 (1), article 17. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/humphreys.html Mobile Social Networks and Social Practice: A Case Study of Dodgeball Lee Humphreys Department of Communication Arts University of Wisconsin-Madison Go to a section in the article: Abstract A mobile social network system (MSNS) allows groups of friends to be accessed and engaged with from one's mobile phone. Dodgeball is a MSNS that seeks to facilitate social connection and coordination among friends in urban public spaces. Based on a year-long qualitative field study, this article reports on the social and behavioral norms of Dodgeball use. A comparison between social network sites and Dodgeball highlights some of the communicative differences of mobile technology and the Internet. The findings of the study suggest that Dodgeball use can influence the way that informants experience public space and social relations therein. At times Dodgeball can facilitate the creation of third spaces, which are dynamic and itinerant forms of "third places." Additionally, exchanging messages through Dodgeball can lead to social molecularization, whereby active Dodgeball members experience and move through the city in a collective manner. Introduction Specific communication applications and devices such as email, instant messenger, and mobile telephony have led to an age of "perpetual contact" (Katz & Aakhus, 2002; Wellman, 2001). Despite this increase in the ability to stay connected, there has been debate about whether communication technology contributes to a withdrawal of people from their social environments by decreasing face-to-face social interactions. McPherson, Smith-Lovin, and Brashears (2006) found that Americans' number of confidants has decreased over the past 20 years, despite a growing number of channels through which to keep in touch and stay connected. While large body of literature suggests that social connections can be developed, maintained, and strengthened through computer-mediated channels of communication (e.g., Ellison, Heino, & Gibbs, 2006; Internet and computers in developing and maintaining social relations. Mobile telephony provides an increasingly important communication channel in facilitating social connections.
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L14.p4 - Mobile Social Networks and Social Practice A Case...

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