Journal Article Social culture of mobile phones : A case study of China and Japan

Wang, Ting

14pp.179 - 202 , 2016-03 , 山口大学大学院東アジア研究科
Human beings are social animals. It is instinctive to communicate with others. The mobile phone is essentially an interpersonal interaction tool used by people to transmit information, convey feelings and coordinate activities. Since its birth, the obile phone has formed different dominant social functions, and each function embodies unique social meaning. In the early stage of the cellular phone, during which voice calls were the predominant function, there were few subscribers, and the phones were widely perceived as luxury items. In addition to one-to-one voice calls, with the development of mobile technology, the mobile phone has provided other functions, such as short message service and email, allowing users to make a choice between synchronous and asynchronous communication. After the introduction of smart phones, social applications and instant messages─representing a higher return to face-to-face communication─have characterized a variety of ways to express oneself. On one hand, under the construction of mobile phones, human senses get extension with pluralistic self existing in multiple social space and time; on the other hand, different social needs growing out of different relationships among people are met by appropriate mobile social functions. This paper outlines the changes of social relations caused by mobile phones and analyzes interpersonal relations in conjunction with mobile social applications. One trend in particular has emerged when it comes to making friends with strangers through mobile phones. That is, people are looking for a way to solve practical problems instead of chatting in virtual world. In the future, more and more media will appear in our daily life, and subsequently there are bound to be questions with excessive mediated communication. This paper proposes a new solution─“ubiquitous sociality”,joining in mobile groups online to solve specific problems in real life.

Number of accesses :  

Other information