Book Excerpt: Rich Ling's "The Mobile Connection"
Rich Ling writes: I am honored to have an excerpt of my book "The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone's Impact on Society" be published in Ubiquity. I hope that it will give a large number of people the chance to become familiar with the growing scholarship on the social consequences of mobile communication. Ubiquity is ironically enough appropriate for an examination of mobile communication. The device is seemingly ubiquitous in its diffusion and in its role as the Swiss army knife of personal technologies. In some portions of the population access to mobile communication is ubiquitous. Data from Norway, for example, shows that literally all teens over 16 have a mobile phone. The trend is the same for other parts of the world. Indeed in Africa the diffusion of mobile telephony is surprising even the most jaded commentators.
Ubiquity also suggests the role of the mobile phone vis-à-vis our other personal technologies. I recently saw a headline suggesting that the mobile phone is the device that has swallowed cameras, portable music players, PDAs, web browsers, clocks etc. Beyond this, the mobile phone is a fashion item and it may even overtake the functions of the wallet (a repository for spare change, identification and the various loose information we need in everyday life). It may soon be the case that our only personal prostheses not integrated into the mobile phone are clothes, glasses, and pacemakers, but I guess that even these shouldn't sleep too soundly.
I hope that you enjoy the following excerpt and I hope that it sparks some interest in this interesting area of study.
[Note: For the Ubiquity excerpt in pdf form, go to: www.acm.org/ubiquity/book_reviews/pf/v6i33_ling.pdfThe excerpt is printed with permission from Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, a division of Elsevier. "The Mobile Connection" by Rich Ling. Copyright 2004. For more information about this title and other similar books, please visit www.books.elsevier.com/computing.
Our readers may remember a review of "The Mobile Connection" by Ubiquity associate editor John Stuckey. See www.acm.org/ubiquity/book_reviews/v5i28_stuckey-ling.html/.