Small circles: Mobile telephony and the cultivation of the private

Richard Ling, Johannes Bjelland, Pål Sundsøy, Scott Campbell

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    Abstract

    This article examines how we use mobile telephony to maintain our physically and socially closest social circle. The analysis is based on traffic data gathered from Norway using approximately 24 million calls and texts made by private individuals. Previous research has shown that our temporal and spatial movement is highly predictable and that the majority of calls and text messages are sent to only four to six different persons. This article extends this research by examining both tie strength and the distance between the interlocutors in urban and rural settings. The findings show that even as information and communication technologies (ICTs) potentially put the world at our fingertips, the mobile phone is an instrument of a more limited geographical and social sphere. Approximately two-thirds of our calls/texts go to strong ties that are within a 25-km radius.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftThe Information Society
    Vol/bind30
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)282-291
    Antal sider10
    ISSN1087-6537
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2014

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