Media, Culture and Society, 28(1), p. 67-82 (2006). Doi: 10.1177/0163443706059287
The present work examines the potential consequences of the use of mobile telephones on people’s behaviour and identity. In doing so, we start from the premise that, even though this technology may have different effects in different cultural contexts, it promotes and foments certain patterns of behaviour and of understanding one’s own identity. It is suggested that this new identity goes hand in hand with a spatial-temporal recomposition of the context in which actions take place. On the opening up of an almost continuous virtual space, conflicts may arise between the different roles played by an individual which were previously differentiated as a function of space. Similarly, increased flexibility in arrangements leads to the appearance of a new concept of time, which we might call the ‘present extensive’. We also discuss the possible superstitions the use of this new technology may bring with it. As a result of these analyses, it is considered that the mobile phone not only emerges within a postmodern society, but also, along with other technological developments, feeds a postmodern mentality.