Reflection for March 29: Mobile Media

In the article “Re-Conceptualizing the Mobile Phone — From Telephone to Collective Interfaces” by Adriana de Souza e Silva, she states that cell phones are “often viewed as extensions of the body” and explores the idea of cell phones as “wearable” devices. Wearable “jewelry” cell phones never quite took off, but my FitBit can display the person calling on the screen; I am still connected to my phone even if it is in the other room. Smart phones have become so embedded into every moment of people lives, that they are often used without even thinking about it. While phones were once carried around at all times in case of emergency, de Souza e Silva claims they are now carried at all times as enforcements of people’s social identities, especially teenagers. In the article “Media and Mobility” by Mark Andrejevic, this concept is expanded upon with the statement that “mobility and communication go hand-in-hand to reproduce cultural and economic systems across space”. While de Souza e Silva suggests the purpose of cell phones have evolved to serve as a medium for social purposes, Andrejevic claims they have consequently increased levels of consumption and production; so he adds to her efforts by saying smart phones influence both economy and social identities. From a commercial standpoint, geography now has recovered relevance according to Andrejevic, which de Souva e Silva briefly mentions when she states that cell phones allow for discovering new meanings and usage possibilities. An example of this in my personal life is my frequent use of Snapchat geofilters. Most universities, tourist locations, even stores and food chains now have filters on Snapchat that users can put on their pictures. I use geofilters daily, which supports Andrejevic’s claim that because of cell phones geography is once again relevant and intertwined into both social and economic factors. By adding a geofilter to my Snapchat, I am increasing awareness for businesses or tourist locations as well as building my social identity by showing where I am eating or visiting.

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