[Air-L] CMC - mobile phones included?

John Paul Laprise j-laprise at northwestern.edu
Wed Jul 17 05:13:36 PDT 2013

I'm just catching up on the thread, so my apologies for any redundant comments. FYI I'm primarily a historian of technology do that the frame I'm approaching this from.

1.      Smart phones are CMC; "Candybar" dumb phones are not. The differing capabilities and affordances they offer their users are very different.

2.      Smart phones do represent something "new", and I say that guardedly as I'm always reluctant to apply the term. Never before have people had the opportunity to own a personal technology that is as customizable and easy to use thanks to GUIs and apps. As an aside, I think smart phones afford their users the opportunity to improve their self-efficacy, especially in societies where the user is discriminated against.

3.      Going forward, the quality of the interaction between users and their devices will probably be the sticking point. At some point, dumb phones may actually obsolesce. The question may be how seamless the interaction is. If there is a medium change but no one notices it, does it matter or rather, is there an effect?

Best regards,

John Laprise, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow
Oxford Internet Institute<http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/>
Oxford University<http://www.ox.ac.uk/>

Assistant Professor of Communication in Residence
Northwestern University in Qatar<http://www.qatar.northwestern.edu/>
Northwestern University<http://www.northwestern.edu/>

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