Kenneth J. Gergen (2010) Mobile Communication and the New Insularity, QWERTY 5, 1 (2010) 14-28
This paper focuses on the reverberations of mobile communication, and most particularly the mobile phone. It examines the role of mobile phone usage in bringing about transformations in communal life. It introduces the metaphor of the floating world, which will facilitate an understanding of a new form of communal life made possible by the mobile phone. The creation of floating worlds generates a new form of insularity. It is not an insularity of individuals, of organizations, or nations, but an informal, micro-social fragmentation. There are implications of this insularity for the socio-political landscape. Cell phone technology may effectively reduce political engagement. However, where political issues are highly salient, it may serve to both harden political divisions and reduce potentials for dialogue.
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