[Air-L] Where Are You?

James Watt wattj at rpi.edu
Wed Dec 19 12:25:26 PST 2007

At 01:12 PM 12/19/2007, Barry Wellman wrote:
>I recently did an interview with a smart reporter, Eric Weiner, from
>NPR (US National Public Radio). In it, I opined that one of the most
>prevalent Qs when people talk on mobile/cell phones is "Where are you"?

I don't know the facts of this case, but it does raise an intriguing 
question in my mind: If ubiquitous communication breaks down 
geographical limitations, as many have assumed, why would a question 
about physical location be the most prevalent thing people ask? Why 
would it matter where you are if all geographic locations are 2 
seconds away on speed dial? I have some data-free suspicions, but I'd 
be interested in others' ideas.

James H. Watt
Professor of Communication
Director, Social and Behavioral Research Laboratory (http://www.sbrl.rpi.edu)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Sage Lab 4518
Troy, NY 12180-3590
email: wattj at rpi.edu
voice: (518) 276-4130 or 276-2784
fax:   (518) 276-3740
SBRL Office: 3142 Winslow Building 

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