The constant need to communicate with a ubiquitous device


Hi my name is Katie. And I’m addicted to my cellular device. If I don’t have it near me or by my side I go crazy. If I don’t see that blinking light I start to panic from withdrawals. If I’m not communicating or receiving info on a regular basis I begin to get depressed…more or less I want to crawl into a hole. Why can’t I live without this piece of plastic?

The personal communication technology (PCTs) industry has skyrocketed throughout the decade. The readings titled Social Implications of Mobile Telephony: The Rise of Personal Communication Society, Adapting the Mobile Phone: The iPhone and its Consumption, and Ubiquitous Apps: Politics of Openness in Global Mobile Cultures provide a historical overview of the emergence of mobile telephony and mass media communication. The authors of these articles (Campbell & Park (2008), Goggin (2009), & Goggin(2010)) also express the way mobile communication has encompassed a range of practices other than simply peer-to-peer communication. Therefore, “this then creates an emotional attachment to the [mobile] device that all of our senses can be a part of” (Ruty224, 2012). This paper/post will reflect how these commercial and governmental services/products affect how we communicate, with whom we communicate, and why we feel the contemporary need to communicate so much.

How do we communicate? As mentioned in the article Social Implications of Mobile Telephony, the innovation of the iPhone was intended to downplay telephony and emphasize a new way of mobile communication to its consumers (Campbell & Park, 2008). For instance, for companies such as Apple, producing smartphones created a way for consumers to access the Internet while using their mobile devices. Certainly, the Internet and other technologies have played an important role in changes to social life, such as shifting the meaning of space and time (Campbell & Park 2008). Therefore, consumers are now able to access virtually anything, anywhere, anytime using their mobile devices. Jordana Kirsh writes that, “technology adapts to us, to our fast paced society of wants and needs. The industry is consumer driven, and we are spoiled. What we want, we get and we get it fast (Jordana, 2012).
Is it bad to say that I can access virtually anything, anywhere and anytime? As I admitted before, I am addicted to my phone – I am in class and texting on my phone.Jordana Kirsh writes, “A person may be right in front of someone but they still choose to talk to another person on their cell phone instead and ignore people in close proximity. This to me weakens relationships between individuals.” I feel this is very true. Why do we feel we need to constantly communicate with one another? Is it because we are great at multitasking? I could be in a group setting and not paying as much attention to a friend’s conversation, yet I will quickly react to answer my friend back in a text message or on BBM. “Planning social activities is a priority for many teens and young adults, and the ‘real-time’ nature of mobile communication plays a vital role in this process” (Campbell & Parks, 2008). If a party is boring – we can quickly text one another to make alternative plans in a second.
As Jordana Kirsh claims, “with the addition of ubiquitous mobile communication, instant gratification has become an expectation. Being able to send and access email and infinite information 24/7 has created the mentality of needing a response instantaneously,” (Jordana, 2012).

Why do we feel we have to acquire information 24/7? “Today it is common for local and national news broadcasts to show images captured and distributed from mobile camera phones” (Campbell & Parks, 2008). This type of journalism has been very common in our society – we don’t have to wait for the daily newspaper to read headline news. “YouTube is being used in conjunction with mobile devices to further this trend, evidenced by the leaked mobile video footage of the hanging of Saddam Hussein” (Campbell & Parks, 2008). With acquiring information 24/7 we are able to receive tweets and updates as minutes pass by. In one of my earlier posts, I mention that with today’s technology many firms are forming alliances with one another to increase new revenue streams; they are creating new ways to market their product so that they have more of a competitive advantage. Verizon Mobile signed a four year alliance with the National Football League (NFL) in 2010(“NFL makes call,” 2010). The NFL said the partnership with Verizon would “become increasingly rich” as Verizon Wireless launches its 4G network(“NFL makes call,” 2010). Through this partnership, Verizon is able to produce a new NFL mobile app where fans are able to watch games, and view highlights as they happen on the field, including a “side-by-side whip-around action from all of the games”(Braff, 2010). Who would have thought 10 years ago we could watch a NFL game on our phone?
Sean Caley says, “the telephone has transitioned into a ubiquitous Internet device over the past decade. Ubiquitous, in relation to these devices, means that it can be used to create the notion that we are always connected everywhere” (2012). So what does this say about society? Why do we feel the need to communicate with each other all the time? Is it necessary to be on the go all the time, needing information at our finger tips…having all that access?? I am addicted to my cell phone – it never leaves my side. Is this a good thing? Who’s to say yes or no?…


Braff, C. (2010, March 12). NFL Brings In Verizon for New Mobile App, Partnership [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Campbell, S. W. and Park, Y. J. (2008), Social Implications of Mobile Telephony: The Rise of Personal Communication Society. Sociology Compass, 2: 371–387

Goggin, G. (2009). Adapting the mobile phone: The iPhone and its consumption. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. 23:2, 231-244.

Goggin, G. (2011). Ubiquitous apps: politics of openness in global mobile cultures. Digital Creativity, 22(3), 148-159.

(2010, March 9). NFL Makes Call To Verizon Wireless, Disconnects Sprint Nextel Deal [Web log comment. Retrieved from (

Links To Blogs

Jordana K. (2012, December 21). PCUL 2F00 Module 4 (Minor): Modern CMC [web log comment]. Retrieved from

Rutty224. (2012, November 28). Cellphones are changing the world…oh no!!! [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Sean Caley. (2012. November 28). A Ubiquitous Device [Web log comment]. Retrieved from



3 thoughts on “The constant need to communicate with a ubiquitous device

  1. Pingback: I love you, I hate you: Our relationships with our cell phones and mobile communication « katemuellz

  2. Pingback: Compelled or Compulsive? « cass giorgio

  3. Pingback: Mobile vs Mass Communication: Time to Disentangle Boundaries? « afcallaghan

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