Article

Mobile Phones or Pepper Spray?

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Abstract

Integrating mobile technology into women's everyday lives has rendered fantasies (and realties) around enhancing one's personal safety in multi-tasking while fulfilling the often gendered expectations of constant contact, accessibility, and responsibility. Mobile intimacy changes the user's perception of their current social environment. A survey study was conducted using 197 female college students from a large US public institution to investigate whether women imagine their mobile phones to be weapons of self-defense. Significant results indicate that not only do women imagine their mobile phones to be weapons of self-defense, they view mobile phones to be more effective than a more traditional weapon, like pepper spray. Mobile phones do promote personal safety and disaster relief, yet over-reliance on mobile phone use can be detrimental.

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... Another specific example of how the use of mobile devices augments the perception of social reality is in the ways in which women may use their mobile phones to enhance their sense of personal safety when out alone in public. The use of mobile phones allows for women to imagine their mobile phones to be weapons of self-defense (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012;Cumiskey, 2010). When asked about whether or not a mobile phone has ever gotten them out of an unsafe situation, women revealed specific ways in which having a mobile phone enhanced their sense of public safety. ...
... Connecting to what is known and familiar through the use of mobile devices may alleviate the anxiety that is triggered by being out alone in public. Rendering a remote other present via the device may make the user feel as though their loved ones are in close proximity, something that a weapon like pepper spray is incapable of (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012). This connection is deeply psychological and another indication of how dependency on one's mobile can engender emotional attachment to the device. ...
Chapter
Social psychology's focus is the domain of social interaction. With mobile communication, seemingly absent social influences are rendered present (Gergen, 2003). Social psychologists can no longer ignore the influence of those that may not be physically present or readily observable in the physical environment. The entrance of these remote interlocutors into the field of social interaction issues a new challenge for both the people within the field of interaction and the social scientist. Mobile phone use and smartphone technology have impacted social cohesion, social coordination and the ease in which we organize our social worlds. This chapter will focus on how mobile communication affects the social expectations of others and the physical as well as virtual domains of social interaction. The authors, both of whom have long experience in the study of mobile communication, engage questions about the ways in which mobile devices may bring us closer to one another while at the same time create barriers to meaningful social interaction. The problems with dependency on mobile communication, in the ways in which it affords us direct access to our social world are explored alongside methodological challenges surrounding these phenomena. Future directions for the social psychological study of mobile communication are also discussed.
... Interestingly, this group of male participants observed that they were less likely to follow precautions when meeting a new partner through an app, as opposed to when they met people from dating and hook-up websites. Interestingly, no participants explicitly mentioned the mobile as a safety device in terms of being able to call for help if necessary, although Cumiskey and Brewster (2012) observe that the association of mobiles with safety is common among young heterosexual women. Rather, it seemed that the perceived sense of intimacy and control attributed to apps and mobile phones contributed to users' sense of security and control: ...
... It was clear that both mobiles and apps contributed to participants' perceptions of safety and risk when flirting, or meeting with new sexual partners. This was not expressed as it has been in literature on mobiles and personal safety, where the phone provides a means to call for help in a dangerous situation (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012;Ling, 2004). Rather, the phone was seen as a means of managing intimate encounters (including messaging and picture exchange) across different settings and contexts. ...
Article
This article draws on focus group interviews with same-sex attracted Australian men and women aged 18-29, to reflect on their accounts of the perceived risks and opportunities offered by hook-up apps such as Grindr, Blendr, and Hornet. Until recently, scholarly accounts of same-sex attracted men hooking up online have primarily focused on measuring the safety of sexual encounters in relation to HIV and “risky” sexual practices. This article extends previous health-related studies by considering the ways that the exchange of sexually explicit digital self-portraits (or selfies) feature within digital sexual negotiations and also exploring same-sex attracted women’s perceptions of safety and risk in relation to dating and hook-up apps and websites. It draws on recent scholarship on Grindr and other geo-locative hook-up apps to explore the material role that mobile phones and apps play in establishing a sense of safety, intimacy, and/or risk within flirtations and sexual interactions and the ways that young people’s “off-label” (or non-sexual) uses of hook-up apps might facilitate (and diminish) their sense of queer identity and visibility.
... Pink and Fors (2017) encourage us to think about the ways in which wearable self-tracking devices make people experience their body and the environment in new ways. These innovative approaches to understanding the digital mediation of embodied socio-spatial relationships will add much needed depth to quantitative studies in planning, criminology and media studies that show mobile phone technology help prevent crime and change people's perception of security (Nasar et al., 2007;Cumiskey and Brewster, 2012;Bivens and Hasinoff, 2017). The attunement of social and cultural geographers to discourse and to the socio-spatial reproduction of norms and values, will reveal the extent to which this new sense of security is attached to discourses that associate technological innovation with equality, security and justice. ...
... Digital devices, particularly smartphones, are already widely being used for securitisation and they are affecting people's social relationship and their navigation through public space (Nasar et al., 2007;Cumiskey and Brewster, 2012;Leszczynski, 2016). This shift encourages examination of how digital technology inflects securitisation practices and how technology affects experiences in place. ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital surveillance and securitisation technologies are becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of everyday lives. Constellations of hand-held devices, smartphone applications and partnerships between police, the security industry and civil society shift responsibility for preventing and recording risk and crimes onto citizens. This development suggests substantial changes to the relationship between state and citizens and is likely to have profound effects on socio-spatial relationships and experiences in place. Until this point, geographers have demonstrated little engagement with these developments. This provocation focuses on particular strengths of theoretical and empirical research traditions in social and cultural geography to suggest ways in which the discipline might constructively engage with the digitisation of citizens’ securitisation practices. It foregrounds four areas in which empirical work on digitally inflected surveillance and securitisation practices will enable a rethinking of key geographical concepts in ways that will further the conceptualisation of digital technology and security. The provocation calls on social and cultural geographers to be mindful of the potential of grassroots securitisation to empower disfranchised communities while considering that these technologies and cognate policies might facilitate the further hollowing out of the state under ongoing processes of neoliberalisation.
... Conceptual model : Global model of human information behviour by Wilson (1997) (Potnis, 2015) theories of developments (Vincent & Cull, 2013 (Constantiou&Mahnke, 2010;Chib et. al., 2013;Cumiskey& Brewster, 2012;Fortunati&Taipale, 2012;Idemudia&Raisinghani, 2014;Eunjung Kim*, Ogata Kaoru, 2015;Potnis, 2015;KoenigstorfercandGroeppel-Klein, 2012) In-depth Interviews (Crowe & Middleton, 2012;Frizzo-Baker & Chow-White, 2012;Vincent & Cull, 2013;Ganito, 2012;Martin & Abbott, 2011;Burrell, 2010;Tacchi, Kitner, & Crawford, 2012;Blumenstock& Eagle, 2012) Questionnaire (Kim, Kang & Jo, 2014;Kalpana, 2016;Soriano et al., 2015;Komunte, 2015;Amichai-Hamburger, &Etgar, 2016) FGDs (Vincent & Cull, 2013;Komunte, 2015;Bigne et al, 2005) Observation (Burrell , 2010) Training and Evaluation (Donner, Gitau, & Marsden, 2011) Secondary sources (Soriano et al.,2015;Okazaki, 2009) Literature Review (Roy, 2016) ...
... Theme based analysis (Potnis, 2015;Martin & Abbott, 2011) Reliability (Kim, Kang & Jo, 2014) Discourse analysis (Roy, 2016) Independent sample t-test Pearson's correlation multiple regression (Chib et. Al., 2013) t-test and multiple regression analysis (Eunjung Kim*, Ogata Kaoru, 2015) ANOVA, Factor Analysis Correlation analysis (Cumiskey& Brewster, 2012) Mean, Standard Deviation, Simple Ranking and T-test (Kalpana, 2016) Semiotic analysis constructivist grounded theory open and axial coding (Soriano et al., 2015) Constructs, Indicators, Reliability, Error Variance, & Variance Extracted, AVE (Idemudia&Raisinghani, 2014) Chi-square and Logistic regression technique descriptive analysis (Bigne et al.,2005) Analysis Context of the study While analysing objectives and key words of the reviewed papers, it was found that there is different context which were focused by the different authors. Many of the authors have focused on the usage, preferences, adoption, access of mobile phones by the gender, women, entrepreneurs, college students, teachers, IT professionals, youngsters, and rural women. ...
Research
Full-text available
Penetration rate of mobile phones are increasing rapidly day by day which results into more connectivity, easy communication and provides varied opportunities at business level. The numbers of wireless internet users in India are likely to cross 790 million by 2020 with more than 60 per cent of users accessing the internet through their mobile phones. It is expected that over the next couple of years, 3G and 4G subscribers would constitute over 40 % of the wireless internet subscriber base (FICCI-KPMG, 2016). Across the different users of mobile phones women are not last in the race. Various studies have been done on the technology association with women. This paper will review what kind of work has been done by the scholars in the area of new technology adoption, specifically related to the mobile or smartphones usage by women in the last few decades. The author will do content analysis of literature reviews on the topic which covers results, objective/s of the study, methodology and variables. The paper will also examine the state of current research on the topic and points out gaps in existing literature. The findings of the review provide insight for further studies.
... Erkeklerin kadınların güvenliğine yönelik duydukları endişeye paralel olarak, kadınlar da kendi güvenliklerinden endişe duymaktadırlar. Bu nedenle akıllı telefonları, kendilerini güvende hissetmenin ya da tehlikelere karşı savunmanın temel enstrümanı olarak görmektedirler (Cumiskey ve Brewster, 2012). Örneğin katılımcılardan Atiye, herhangi bir taksiye bindiğinde taksicinin de duyacağı şekilde arkadaşını arayarak taksiye bindiğini söyleme ihtiyacı hissettiğini, bunun kendisine güven duygusu verdiğini vurgularken, Derya da akıllı telefonuna indirdiği bir taksi uygulamasıyla mevcut konum bilgilerini tanıdıklarıyla paylaştığını, herhangi bir tehlike durumunda en azından nerede olduğunun bilinmesinin kendisine güven verdiğini söylemiştir. ...
... The targets of Hollaback!'s campaigning are primarily young women armed with mobile phones as ready-made tools of activist documentation and social media networks of dissemination. One recent study found that young women and girls relate to their cellphones as essential devices of personal safety rather than, say, pepper spray dispensers or whistles (Cumiskey and Brewster: 2012). The women in the study perceived that their cellphones connected them to people upon whom they could depend, providing a stronger sense of security than more explicitly self-defensive weapons. ...
Article
Full-text available
Young feminists use social media in order to respond to rape culture and to hold accountable the purveyors of its practices and ways of thinking when mainstream news media, police and school authorities do not. This article analyzes how social networks identified with young feminists take shape via social media responses to sexual violence, and how those networks are organized around the conceptual framework of rape culture. Drawing on the concept of response-ability, the article analyzes how recent social media responses to rape culture evidence the affective and technocultural nature of current feminist network building and the ways this online criticism re-imagines the position of feminist witnesses to rape culture.
... Research on mobile phone apps for the prevention of sexual violence is just emerging (Ellcessor, 2016). There is some evidence that college students view their mobile phones as effective 'weapons of self-defense' and feel safer in public when carrying them (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012;Nasar, Hecht, & Wener, 2007). The use of new media for sexual health promotion, such as reducing the rates of HIV and unplanned pregnancies, is more established in the literature (Guse et al., 2012). ...
Article
This study of mobile phone apps designed to prevent sexual violence (n = 215) is a quantitative analysis of all their features (n = 807). We analyze the intended users (victims, bystanders, and perpetrators) and rape prevention strategies of each feature, finding that anti-rape app design generally reinforces and reflects pervasive rape myths, by both targeting potential victims and reinforcing stranger-danger. To demonstrate that these limitations are primarily cultural rather than technological, we conclude by imagining apps with similar technical features that resist rather than reinforce rape myths. This study offers an empirical investigation of the relationship between technical design and social norms, and a unique methodology for uncovering the ideologies that underlie design.
... In further scientific terms, capsicum is pungent, affects thermoregulation, triggers autonomic reflexes, and is scantily absorbed. Exploitation of all these properties of capsicum lead to the development of pepper spray, a suitable candidate to foil uncontrolled rioting and nab contrary suspects by law enforcement officers [16,17] and as a self-defense weaponry by women [18]. ...
Article
Capsaicin, a well known vanilloid, has shown evidence of an ample variety of biological effects which make it the target of extensive research ever since its identification. In spite of the fact that capsaicin causes health hazards in quite a few ways, yet, the verity cannot be ignored that capsaicin has several therapeutic implications. In patients with hypersensitive bladders, vesical instillation of 1 mM capsaicin markedly improved urinary frequency and urge incontinence. Again, administration of capsaicin favors an augmentation in lipid mobilization and a decrease in adipose tissue mass. Topical capsaicin cream as well decreases postsurgical neuropathic pain and is preferred by patients over a placebo among other therapies. Several in vitro studies have revealed that capsaicin results in growth arrest in some transformed cell lines. Furthermore, capsaicin has been proven to be an undeniably exciting molecule and remains a valuable drug for alleviating pain and itch. It has been recognized that capsaicinoids are the most potential agonists of capsaicin receptor (TRPV1). However, vanilloids could exert the beneficial effects not only through the receptor-dependent pathway but also through the receptor-independent one. The involvement of serotonin, neuropeptide Substance P and somatostatin in the pharmacological actions of capsaicin has been expansively investigated. Better understanding of the established TRPV1 receptor mechanism as well as exploring other possible receptor mechanism may publicize other new clinical efficacies of capsaicin. Further, clinical studies are required in several of these conditions to establish the efficacy of capsaicin.
... First, this analysis reveals how anti-rape wearables are deeply gendered technologies that embrace the sexual difference paradigm to reify a sense of female passivity. In doing so, this paper contributes to Rees and White's (2012) analysis of gender and wearable anti-rape technology, existing literature on how media and technology are constructed as a "weapon of self-defense" (Kathleen Cumiskey and Kendra Brewster 2012;Jack Nasar, Peter Hecht and Richard Wener 2007), and emerging research on anti-rape phone apps and the re-production of rape myths (Rena Bivens and Amy Adele Hasinoff 2018;McCaughey and Cermele 2017;Corinne Lysandra Mason and Shoshana Magnet 2012). Second, this analysis reveals how these techno-physical feminist objects embrace a form of individual, self-optimizing empowerment that fails to challenge the structural misogynistic logics that facilitate sexual violence. ...
Article
Full-text available
Wearable anti-rape technologies are products designed to rebuild feminine bodies in a form allegedly more capable of warding off unwanted sexual advances. Although inventors have patented these controversial objects since the beginning of the Women’s Movement, in 2010, anti-rape technology began to receive global media attention as the new wave in self-defense. While proponents of women’s physical self-defense argue corporeal techniques, such as martial arts and boxing, empower women by disrupting traditional gender norms, inventors embrace a “post-feminist sensibility” arguing technology-facilitated rape-prevention is more effective because passive prevention is in-line with traditional gender norms. This article constructs a genealogy of anti-rape technology using international patent and historical records from 1850 to 2016. This analysis reveals that inventors subscribe to what I term techno-physical feminism—or strategies that utilize technoscience to seemingly transform the wearer’s psychology, corporeal resilience, and agency. Techno-physical feminism draws on Judy Wajcman’s articulation of technofeminism and Martha McCaughey’s physical feminism to analyze the material and discursive relationships between gender regulation, bodies, and technology. While there could be more liberatory designs of techno-physical feminism, I argue this iteration of wearable anti-rape technology reinforces traditional gender ideologies and re-inscribes feminine bodies as passive. This analysis also finds that although popular media accounts frame anti-rape technology as novel, these objects are derived from historical chastity technologies designed to promote normative masculinity. This research illuminates how technology has long been invoked to respond to shifting and gendered paradigms of sexual risk and contributes to conversations about gender, power, and corporeal surveillance.
... Personal devices offer a wide array of cues, contexts, and outcomes that can be linked together to form complex mental habits (Bayer & LaRose, 2018). In terms of affect, feelings of pleasure, connection, control, and safety are always within arm's reach (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012;Fullwood et al., 2017). As a result, mobile technology is able to quell stress and anxiety at key times -and drive such feelings at other times (Carolus et al., 2019;Cheever, Rosen, Carrier, & Chavez, 2014;Melumad & Pham, 2020). ...
... Delhi remains one of the most unsafe cities for women in India due to its high rates of sexual violence (Tiwary, 2020). In this context, the ability to connect with family members when traveling in unfamiliar spaces provides these women with a sense of security and assurance (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012), which leads to an "extension of their spatial life spheres" (Kinnunen, Suopajärvi, & Ylipulli, 2011, p. 1074. Thus, while the need to fulªll certain communication obligations hints at the women's lack of power at home, it is also linked to enhancing their mobility and, consequently, the agency they possess in determining the public spaces they can safely occupy. ...
Article
This study explores how access to the mobile phone affects the lives of female live-out (as opposed to live-in) domestic workers in Delhi, India. Through interviews with 102 workers, we ªnd that the mobile phone enhances their agency in determining their daily schedule, the amount of work they take on, and the public spaces they can safely occupy. It also engenders certain communication obligations at home and work, reinforcing the inequalities they face due to their marginalized position at the intersection of gender and social class. We draw upon contextually sensitive conceptualizations of agency to explain this phenomenon. In doing so, we argue that the device enhances the women's capacity to act within the context of the social, cultural, and economic forces within which they are embedded. Further, we discuss the relationship between different types of access to technology and such conceptualizations of agency, highlighting its dynamic and complex nature. Thus, we move beyond dichotomies such as empowerment/disempowerment and access/no access to make a nuanced contribution to the literature on gender, mobile communication, and development.
... Smartphone technology is increasingly targeted as a platform or resource for improving personal safety. Smartphones allow users access to advanced communication, information sharing and geolocation systems, and their possession has been linked to an increase in user perceptions of safety [13,14]. There has also been a global escalation in smartphone ownership [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Interpersonal violence has devastating implications for individuals, families, and communities across the globe, placing a significant burden on health, justice, and social welfare systems. Smartphone technology may provide a platform for violence prevention interventions. However, evidence on the availability and user experience of smartphone applications aimed to prevent violence is underexplored. Methods Systematic searches of available smartphone applications marketed for personal safety and violence prevention on the Apple Store (IOS) and Google Play (Android) in the United Kingdom were run in May 2021. Relevant applications were downloaded, with data on user reviews and ratings extracted. Included applications were categorised according to their features and functions. Online user reviews were rated according to their sentiment (positive, negative, neutral) and thematically analysed. Results Of 503 applications, 86 apps met review criteria. Only 52 (61%) apps offered full functionality free of charge. Over half (52%) of apps were targeted towards the general population, with 16% targeting women and 13% targeting families. App functionality varied with 22% providing an alarm, 71% sending alerts to pre-designated contacts, 34% providing evidence capture and 26% offering educational information. Overall, 71% of applications had a user rating of four or above. For 61 apps a total of 3,820 user reviews were extracted. Over half (52.4%) of reviews were rated as having a positive sentiment, with 8.8% neutral and 38.8% negative. Key themes across user reviews included positive consequences of app use, technical and usage issues including app reliability, dissatisfaction with the financial cost of some app features and personal data and ethical issues. Conclusions Reviews suggest that users find apps for personal safety and violence prevention useful. However, individuals also report them being unreliable, not working as described and having features that others may exploit. Findings have implications for the development of policy on apps to improve personal safety, especially given recent national policy (e.g. UK) discussions about their utility. Without the regulation or accreditation of such technology for quality assurance and reliability, emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring user safety; otherwise vulnerable individuals may continue to place reliance on untested technology in potentially dangerous circumstances.
... According to Cumiskey & Brewster (2012), a cell phone proved to be effective than pepper spray when it came to the self-defense of women. With a cell phone, a woman could call someone whenever they perceived danger or risk when walking alone or in any other situation. ...
Research
Analysis of the impacts of cell phones on Bhutanese children.
... For this reason, alongside the efforts made at the legislative level to prevent the phenomenon and to improve assistance to victims in recent years, efforts to contain and better manage this phenomenon have also grown in the extra-legislative sphere, for example through the application of new technological solutions and safety planning [4]. It is starting from this assumption that the phenomenon of the spread of apps dedicated to female (potential) victims of violence was born and grew [5][6][7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The prevalence of violence against women continues to grow and this plague has had a huge impact from a clinical, social and judicial point of view. For this reason, alongside the efforts made at the legislative level to prevent the phenomenon and to improve assistance to victims in recent years, efforts to contain and better manage this phenomenon have also grown in the extra-legislative sphere: for example, through the application of new technological solutions and safety planning. In recent years, there has been an increase in the marketing of mobile phone apps dedicated to the prevention of violence against women, with different functions and different objectives. The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge and propensity to download this type of app in a group of 1782 Italian female university students. This research was performed using an online questionnaire administered to female students attending four different courses (law, medicine, healthcare professionals and political sciences) at one Italian university. Chi-square or Fisher's exact test was used to analyze associations between responses to questionnaire and the type and the year of course. The results show that 62.6% of our sample are unaware of the existence of these apps and that 79.5% of the sample would be willing to download one in the future. With regard to whom to turn to after a violent incident, the majority of those interviewed (43.9%) would turn to the police and not to health facilities. According to our findings, law female students (52.7%) think, more than any other category, that the most effective way to improve public safety and reduce the number of victims lies in legislative solutions. Our results suggest that, although this type of technology may be promising, it is necessary to improve the knowledge and dissemination of these apps in order to make them a useful tool for prevention, education and assistance in cases of violence against women.
... Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the incidence of such violence with BRAC reporting a nearly 70% rise in the number of cases during the onset of the pandemic (March and April 2020) compared to last year (Sharmin et al., 2020). Mobile phones not only enhance the ability to communicate frequently with one another but are also used as a subtle means of self-defense by calling someone when they are in trouble (Sinha et al., 2019;Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012). The role of mobile phone in preventing and responding to gender based violence against women (GBVAW) is well recognized (Philbrick et al., 2021;Eisenhut et al., 2020;Freeman et al., 2012). ...
Article
Despite significant progress in Information and communication technologies (ICTs), rural dwellers of Bangladesh are still less fortunate when it comes to availing the improved ICT facilities compared to their urban counterparts, and this digital divide is more evident in the case of women. Mobile phone ownership (MPO) can play a key role in bridging this digital divide and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, and “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Administrative district-level infrastructural and societal readiness to women's MPO in rural settings of Bangladesh may also influence the geospatial variation in their MPO status, which is still unexplained. In the context of rural Bangladesh, household heads substantially exert influence over women's decision-making process. However, the role of household heads' age and education on women's MPO is mostly unexplored. As in developing countries, women's MPO does not ensure its usage, investigating the possibilities of women's MPO on its usage has immense importance. Therefore, this study aims to revisit the correlates of rural women's MPO in Bangladesh and explain the administrative district-level geospatial variation in their MPO by controlling the effect of individual and household-level sociodemographic correlates of MPO. Further, this study attempts to investigate the possibilities of MPO on the extent of its usage. This study used the latest nationally representative cross-sectional data from Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019. This study reveals that the district-level readiness was a potential source of geospatial variation in the prevalence of rural women's MPO in Bangladesh. The lowest level of readiness was noticed in north-western Bangladesh. Comparatively elderly women with better education and media exposure had a considerably higher chance of MPO. Elderly household heads, especially male and less educated heads, hindered the MPO of women. This study identified MPO as a key determinant of its extent of usage. Moreover, to increase the MPO by a faster pace, strategies should target less empowered women, particularly those who lived in districts of lower readiness.
... In the study of Hjorth and Lim on mobile intimacy, they defined it based on women's use of media to facilitate issues on emotions, and their use of technologies to aid various emotional, psychological, and social needs. This is in parallel with the assumption that the use of mobile technologies facilitates intimacy among users online, even in offline settings (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012). This process allows the formation and maintenance of a relationship in an online network while still enabling the prevalence of the usual offline social relations and practices (Arminen & Weilenmann, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing from the assumptions on queer and mobile intimacy, emotion work, and care, this paper explores the role of mobile communication platform access and use among Filipino gay couples who have been physically separated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper looks at in-depth narratives of 24 gay men whose romances have been transferred to and transformed by messaging apps due to the pandemic. The accounts of these gay couples represent the realities of cosmopolitan gay men in negotiating digital romantic presence as they manage connection despite the distance. Mobile technologies have deepened the synchronous and asynchronous rituals of maneuvering romance as couples manage imagined emphatic romances. The participants’ descriptions revealed queered technology-use in bridging and maintaining imagined intimacies while feeling trapped in the dependence on mediated means of enacting such intimacies.
... www.rcommunicationr.org on of self-defense than pepper spray -but it also creates a sense of safety above and beyond its functionality (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012). It can even be used to create the illusion of interacting with others when feeling insecure about one's immediate surroundings (Ling, 2012). ...
Article
In recent decades, mobile media and communication have become integral to human psychology, including how people think and feel. Although the popular press, parents, and educators often voice concerns about the integration of mobile media into everyday life (e.g., “smartphone addiction”), the growing body of scholarship in this area offers a mix of positive, negative, and conditional effects of mobile media use. This review article traverses this variegated scholarship by assembling cognitive and affective implications of mobile media and communication. It identifies information processing, offloading, spatial cognition, habit, attention, and phantom vibrations as cognitive themes, and feelings of pleasure, stress/anxiety, safety/security, connectedness, and control as affective themes. Along the way, it helps bring structure to this growing and interdisciplinary area of scholarship, ground psychological work on mobile media in theorizing on technological embedding, inform academic and public debates, and identify opportunities for future research.
... On the other hand, technology inventions like mobile phones can be used as a tool for crime deterrence and crime reporting and help increase the perceived security of the owner (e.g., Nasar et al. 2007). Women, in particular, regard their mobile phone as a weapon for selfdefense and consider it to be as useful as traditional self-defense tools (e.g., pepper spray) (Cumiskey and Brewster 2012). Furthermore, because the prevalence of mobile phones enables individuals to contact authorities almost immediately and at very low or no cost, law enforcement agencies improved their response time (Stratmann and Thomas 2016) and crime resolution rates significantly. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives In this study, we investigate the relationship between mobile networks and crime by exploiting the temporal and spatial properties of crime and the exogenous occurrence of mobile network outages (MNOs) in San Francisco, (CA) from 5th March 2017 to the 24th March 2018. Methods We exploit the occurrence of unpredictable and exogenous MNOs to identify how mobile phone usage affects crime. Further, we make use of established macro-level determinants such as weather conditions (temperature, precipitations), public holidays and events, to isolate and quantify how MNOs impact the total amount of crime, violent and property crime, as well other individual major crime categories such as robbery, burglary, theft, vehicle break-ins. Results Based on the results of our empirical analysis, we confirm a statistically significant but complex relationship between mobile phone usage and crime. The complexity of this relationship is due to the fact that, depending on the area under investigation (i.e., very dangerous districts vs. zip code areas with rather moderate levels of crime), the crime type assessed (i.e., violent versus property crime), or the coincidence of MNOs with events, the MNOs can sometimes foster and sometimes discourage crime. Conclusions This study highlights the necessity of extending the study of crime with a technological dimension of other emerging technologies (e.g., augmented reality and location-based mobile games) on crime. Further, it supports the notion that (1) the maintenance of mobile network infrastructures might be a matter of public interest; and (2) in some cases, mobile phones can be a useful and cost-effective crime reduction measure which is worth to be considered in the process of extending the government's catalog of crime countermeasures.
... Personal devices offer a wide array of cues, contexts, and outcomes that can be linked together to form complex mental habits (Bayer & LaRose, 2018). In terms of affect, feelings of pleasure, connection, control, and safety are always within arm's reach (Cumiskey & Brewster, 2012;Fullwood et al., 2017). As a result, mobile technology is able to quell stress and anxiety at key times -and drive such feelings at other times (Carolus et al., 2019;Cheever, Rosen, Carrier, & Chavez, 2014;Melumad & Pham, 2020). ...
Preprint
In this chapter, we chart parallel lines of research on mobile technology and daily mobility. Specifically, we review how people engage with mobile technologies in-place and on-the-go, as well as their broader connection with their mobile devices. In each section, we review and link perspectives from psychology and mobility studies towards an integrative understanding of mobile media use. We then survey emerging mobile methodologies with potential for interdisciplinary work. To conclude, we collapse these boundaries – between being in-place and on-the-go, and mobile technology and daily mobility – to consider the trajectory of future research on the psychology of mobile technology.
Chapter
In 2002 the University of Surrey and the University of Erfurt worked together on a study for the mobile communications industry to gather data about how some people in both the UK and Germany were using their mobile phones (Vincent and Harper, 2003; Höflich and Gebhardt, 2005a). These devices had limited capabilities of voice and text and camera phones were not yet in common use (the first smartphones were not launched until 2007). Nevertheless, the key findings from this study regarding emotions and mobiles are notable in that they appear to remain a constant in many subsequent studies, some of which will be explored in this chapter.
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Across disciplines, scholars extol the revolutionary potential of mobile technologies in developing nations. Mobile phones in particular may facilitate economic and social development. However, our understanding of mobile phone’s interaction with a developing country’s society is limited by two factors: first, development is often accompanied by social and political conflict; and second, scholars often provide a broad overview on the use of these technologies. We address these limitations through the use of data collected from ethnographic interviews conducted in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We highlight the everyday use of mobile technologies in developing nations that experience political conflict. We conclude that while mobile technologies have some potential of mitigating social inequality, political conflict, and safety concerns, these opportunities for meaningful use are hampered by limitations associated with daily life in developing countries such as irregular access to electricity and network coverage boundaries.
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Chapter
This chapter addresses how mobile and social technologies in the domain of the home and everyday life are transforming women’s memories of parenting and family life. It draws on two original empirical studies carried out in London in 2009 and 2015 conducted with samples of digitally born women and digitally migrant women. The studies are compared with worldwide studies on women and mobile technologies to suggest that the mobile phone, social networking, and on-line photo sharing sites are transforming in contradictory ways gendered memories in the Globital Age. While mobile and social technologies ostensibly provide new memories of women’s hitherto marginalised domestic and affective everyday work, they also imprison women in an oppressive network of mnemonic surveillance.
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In this article, we explore smart deterrents and their historical precedents marketed to women and girls for the purpose of preventing harassment, sexual abuse and violence. Rape deterrents, as we define them, encompass customs, architectures, fashions, surveillant infrastructures, apps and devices conceived to manage and protect the body. Online searches reveal an array of technologies, and we engage with their prevention narratives and cultural construction discourses of the gendered body. Our critical analysis places recent rape deterrents in conversation with earlier technologies to untangle the persistent logics. These are articulated with reference to the ways that proto-digital technologies have been imported into the realm of ubiquitous computing and networks. Our conceptual framework offers novel pathways for discussing feminine bodies and their messy navigation of everyday life that include both threats to corporeal safety and collective imaginings of empowerment.
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Chapter
Smartphones have afforded women opportunities to overcome some of the constraints they face in the informal sector. The culture of traditional learning for women in the marketplace refers to sharing common standardized practices of learning from each other, conducting business, communicating, and making money. Sharing information, knowledge, and experiences is already embedded in the culture of the informal sector therefore a network connection through smartphones will bring a new light of opportunities to the learning environment. Using a case study of market women in Ghana, the authors of this chapter focus on these women's experiences learning with video animation in smartphones and predict how they will envision a new way of learning that combines the formal and informal learning with easy capabilities such as visualization, simulation, technical proficiency, and accessibility to information.
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Chapter
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Conference Paper
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Those who teach or research women's self-defense often encounter significant resistance from others. In this article, the author discusses three major types of resistance to women's self-defense (and to women's resistance to violence more generally): the belief that women's resistance is impossible, that it is too dangerous, and that it risks blaming the victim. The author argues that one source of these reactions is people's taken-for-granted beliefs about gender, which limit their ability to understand the research on women's resistance and self-defense-and, indeed, prevent them from being able to conceptualize women as strong and competent social actors.
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So here is one of the paradoxes of mediated globalization: at the same time as it connects people, it also distanciates them. (Rantanen 10) Introduction Mobile technologies are changing personal relationships and intimacy. While many authors critique the benefits of globalization from either corporate or cultural perspectives, I follow Anthony Giddens and Zygmunt Bauman in assessing globalization from the standpoint of the personal. ‘Mobile intimacy,’ the ability to be intimate across distances of time and space, is a global phenomenon. Oddly enough, the sociability of mobile telephony is not homogenous across the world. How the mobile phone is used to extend personal relationships in Asia/Pacific is unique compared to the rest of the world. As Misa Matsuda notes in her discussion of mobile phone (keitai) phenomenon in Japan, this technosocial dynamic is creating a dependency of ‘fulltime intimacy.’ At its crux, this essay applies Giddens’s cornerstone of time-space distanciation to research on mobile telephony to demonstrate how globalization threatens some personal relationships. An ‘economics of emotion’ arises where capitalistic uses of technologies alter power within personal relationships. Love becomes a commodity which is subject to economic rules of supply and demand. Love, however, is not synonymous with intimacy; it is only a component. Ultimately, I see globalization leading towards not a homogenized identity (Schiller) but an obfuscating of identity, where some individual float through a consumerist abyss marked by the acquisition of goods (Lasn). If the non-linearity of late modernity has transformed love into a commodity, then how does the commoditization of love into the realm of the mobile affect how one negotiates intimacy? This essay begins with a summary of time-space distanciation literature. From there, it challenges Giddens’s (“Transformation”) postmodern concept of the ‘pure relationship’ and how it differs from Victorian intimacy. The main argument then expresses how technologies like mobile phones sever some emotional relationships while solidifying others. Last, this paper concludes by analyzing how globalization has created what I term ‘stable instability,’ whereby the ‘disjuncture’ of modern times allows some cosmopolitans to establish emotional order through being in constant flux. In short, the utopia of global communications, particularly in Asia, is to some extent a fallacy when one considers how new technologies hinder some personal relationships. Time, Space, and Place in Globalization The reallocation of time, space, and place through new media is the bedrock for mobile intimacy. It is necessary to summarize some key theories to contextualize my argument. In The Consequences of Modernity, Giddens coins ‘time-space distanciation’ as a prerequisite for modernity. He describes it as “the conditions under which time and space are organised so as to connect presence and absence,” (14). Critical to his argument is ‘disembedding,’ which he defines as “the ‘lifting out’ of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space” (Ibid: 21). Similarly David Harvey (“Postmodernity” 201-308; “From Space to Place) writes of ‘time-space compression’ where new phases of technologies decrease the space between places and thereby reduce the time between those places. He adds an economic stance by incorporating Baudrillard and Ford as examples of how commodities’ origins cease to matter as time and space compress and give rise to global markets. John Tomlinson, Terhi Rantanen, and Malcolm Waters critique the differences between time-space distanciation and compression. Distanciation remains a crucial theoretical gripe for Tomlinson because it overvalues the need for proximity within both identity and communication. Although Waters presents a valid argument over the connotation of “distanciation,” for the purposes of this paper, the terms will be used interchangeably. Place becomes less significant because the time traditionally required to cross a distance shrinks, removing the added value an action receives when it takes more time. Time remains a commodity which adds emotional significance to place. Proximity therefore becomes a crucial variable in the economics of emotion. New media yield different types of communication. For place to lose significance, mediation must gain value. “Mediation is therefore seen as, fundamentally, a matter of bridging time and space in communication” (Tomlinson 152). John B. Thompson (81-118) demarcates communication into three types: Face-to-face interaction (henceforth FtF) – dialogical, spatial-temporal co-presence multiplicity of symbolic cues. Mediated interaction – dialogical, spatial-temporal distancing, limited symbolic cues. Mediated quasi-interaction –monological, spatial-temporal ambiguity, limited symbolic cues. While the nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought increases in mediated quasi-interaction like newspapers and television, the twenty-first century charges towards interactivity. There is now an eruption in dialogical and multi-flow communications rather than the traditional one-way flow of mass media dissemination. Through new technologies like instant messaging and VoIP, people (with access) are increasingly redefining their interactions in mediated space. Rather than adopting a technologically deterministic view like Walter Ong and McLuhan whereby the technologies themselves denote the societal effects, Silverstone (“Sociology of Mediation”) argues that digital communication provides more choices which require ethical decisions. In short, Thompson’s three types of communication are necessary to have a sense of place and identity. In The Transformation of Intimacy, Giddens surveys how late-twentieth-century love has evolved from Victorian ideals due to time-space distanciation. Do changes in love also affect intimacy? Gross and Simmons (533) agree with Giddens’s argument that trust has become the more valued commodity as mediation places greater emphasis on “physically absent others.” Unlike Giddens, Gross and Simmons’s study empirically evaluates how ‘expert systems’ affect personal relationships and that trust is no longer a necessity (534). Giddens argues that globalization has brought about a volte-face from ‘romantic love’ to the ‘pure relationship,’ which he defines as: A social relation is entered into for its own sake, for what can be derived by each person from a sustained association with another; and which is continued only insofar as it is thought by both parties to deliver enough satisfactions for each individual to stay within it. (58) His view of Victorian ‘romantic’ love as a supernatural extension of eroticism is limiting as it only focuses on one facet of love. “Giddens’s… treatment of the transformation of intimacy in modern societies focuses on personal ‘face-to-face’ sexual and love relations and has nothing to say about mediated experience,” (Tomlinson 170). Surprisingly, Gross and Simmons’s research concurs with Giddens that the ‘pure relationship’ offers the potential for greater happiness; however, their data do not support the dystopian risks Giddens advocates: Our study failed to turn up any evidence that the transformation of intimacy is in fact a double-edged phenomenon. People in pure love relationships are, so far as our data indicate, happier with their relationships and no worse off on a number of psychological measures than those in more traditional relationships… We suspect that Giddens may be overestimating the psychological importance of habit, routine, and predictability in people’s lives. (551-2) Although their study bears its own methodological limitations, it provides a counterexample to Giddens’s argument. Despite their results, I am skeptical to discount Giddens’s argument so quickly. Some of the research in Asia indicates that habitude is epicentral to intimacy. Mobile intimacy decreases habitude for many people. In Habuchi’s discussion of technologies in Japan, he notes that this reduction of the habitual is creating a phenomenon of shrinking social capital which he dubs ’telecocooning.’ The Battle over Proximity Proximity remains important around the world, and new corporate technologies like HP Halo and Cisco Telepresence typify the desire to have digital communication simulate FtF communication. In Harold Innis’s pioneering work on types of communication, he demarcates ‘orality’ as the first form of communication with FtF as the primordial communicative medium. Innis understood that proximity is essential to many facets of life. Similarly, Thompson acknowledges that FtF communication allows for the subtle reading of body language. On the other hand, Tomlinson believes that people overvalue proximity because they consider only its sexual nature (163-4). He prefers to consider proximity from the point of view of the ‘global village’: [Proximity] describes a common conscious appearance of the world as more intimate, more compressed, more part of everyday reckoning – for example in our experience of rapid transport or our mundane use of media technologies to bring distant images into our most intimate local spaces (3) The quandary arises over whether proximity facilitates the communication of emotion. For example, saying “I love you” and texting “I love you” have different connotations based on body language. One cannot discount the value of nonverbal cues. Within corporate cosmopolitanism, global nomads seldom gain proximity to local culture because they are constantly in a ‘new floating world’ (Gergen) or in a bubble of global consumerist culture of Hilton hotels and McDonalds (Tomlinson 7). Tomlinson (111) disagrees with Augé, arguing that non-places like airports, train stations, hotels, chain restaurants, cafes, and shopping malls create new ‘authentic’ places for experience and intimacy. For Bauman, “The difference between one place and another, one set of people within your sight and corporeal reach and another, has been cancelled and made null and void,” (59). Likewise, Giddens advocates that if one is in the same room as a person who is on the telephone, it does not mean that the two in the room are more intimate than the two on the phone: A person may be on the telephone to someone twelve thousand miles away and for the duration of the conversation be more closely bound up with the responses of that distant individual than with others sitting in the same room” (“Modernity and Self-Identity” 189). The interpersonal connection with which Giddens writes may represent an extension of love, but can one define such mediated presence as “intimacy” proper? It seems that “intimacy” itself does not sufficiently denote these new levels of mobile connections. There remains a difference over mediated versus non-mediated intimacy. Perhaps mobile affection or mobile love or mobile desire are more germane terms than “mobile intimacy?” To argue that mediated and non-mediated intimacy are both forms of intimacy is pluralistically limiting. While this paper focuses on ‘mobile intimacy’ the term itself is an oxymoron because intimacy cannot be mobile. Technologies can aid in simulating intimacy or they can replace some components of intimacy. The lexicon itself is therefore limiting. Gergen (237-8) believes that mobile telephony strengthens endogenous relationships. In other words, the cell phone allows one to simulate proximity (i.e., ‘absent presence’) with one’s circle of friends, family, and co-workers rather than to foster new intimacies at distance. On the other hand, Thompson writes: In the case of mediated interaction, such as that sustained through the exchange of letters or thorough telephone conversation, individuals can establish a form of intimacy which is reciprocal in character but which lacks some of the features typically associated with the sharing of a common locale (208). This assessment is less pluralistic than that of Tomlinson because it reiterates that different forms of mediation bear different benefits and limitations. How Mediation Affects Power in Relationships For some personal relationships, ‘the medium is the message.’ In the case of the mobile telephony, one must negotiate who calls whom, when, and how. Although international long distance rates have reached their nadir over the last decade, they still remain more of an economic hurdle than local calls. If one lives in New York and one’s acquaintance lives in Sydney, only a small window of time exists that is convenient for both parties to communication. Distance and physics still matter; time zones cannot be conquered. Negotiations over these time factors affect relationships in some cosmopolitan intimacy. A sense of imbalance arises if one party is always initiating communication. The timing of such communications also bears significance. A shortcoming of cosmopolitan intimacy is that proximity can lead to more dialogue as Matsuda’s aforementioned notion of “fulltime intimacy” demonstrates. Shared events, just as in ‘imagined communities,’ become the bedrock for relationships. When one inserts distance into the equation, a cleavage forms between the capacity for sharing mutual daily events. For instance, if intimacy can be sustained at distance, then the lack of tactile intimacy could cause an individual to be adulterous. In such a scenario, although globalization allows for intimacy at distance, it could also allow for heartache due to infidelity. Again, these are not new phenomena – only an intensification of issues that otherwise could occur at the local. Many aspects of intimacy are derived from media portrayals. Hardly anyone is taught how to behave on a date or how to kiss or what gifts to give or that a person typically gets down on a knee to propose marriage (Jagger). These symbolic goods and ‘cultural capital’ (Couldry) come from Hollywood depictions, word of mouth, and popular literature. The negotiations over the commodification of emotions are not different with distance relationships. In Asia, the mobile phone arguably communicates symbolically as extension of one’s identity and community as much as it is used literally for actual communication (Hjorth). Media teach us life behavior, and people are consumers of media’s education. Cosmopolitan Intimacy and the Mobile Phone in Asia There is a wealth of literature on new ICTs and how they affect sociability. These studies typically focus on a single country or demographic. Sometimes the studies sample groups from several countries to simulate a global representation. The research often focuses on uses and gratifications, adoption, domestication, fashion, content, customization, time management, and sociability. Love is almost always absent. When personal relationships are considered, it is often from the guise of peer networks and parent-child relationships. Few studies exist on ‘cosmopolitan intimacy’ (Beck), which is the crux of this essay, with the exception of Gerard Goggin’s (126-140) ribald chapter on infidelity and text messaging. Some of the findings in Asia are worth noting because they contradict common findings in North America and Europe. In addition, it is important not to forget that of the nearly 2 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, over 790 million come from Asia where China Mobile is the world’s largest provider (Goggin 2). Hjorth and Kim summarize some of the fallacies about mobile telephony in Korea. For example, prolific cell phone adoption and use increases sociability with old friends while allowing opportunities to meet new people as well, despite the common belief to the contrary. Katz and Sugiyama (2006) continue Katz’s research on Apparatgeist, ‘The spirit of the machine that influences both the designs of the technology as well as the initial and subsequent significance accorded them by users, non-users and anti-users’ (Katz et al. 305). They observe many correlations between fashion and mobile adoption, most notably that fashion is preferred over battery life for active users. Wei studies mobile use in Taiwan and concludes, “Those respondents who were motivated to use the cell phone to express affection and to take advantage of its access, but not to socialize or to make a fashion statement, tend to call their loved ones more frequently,” (64) and that “Female users tend to use the cell phone for expression of affection and to take advantage of the mobility of the wireless technology, whereas male users appear to use cell phones to seek information” (64-7). Yoon also studies Korea where he finds that youths take traditional values and cultural practices and extend them through mobile telephony rather than taking on a culture of “individualization.” Humphreys finds Yoon’s conclusion to be true worldwide and not just in Korea; she goes on to examine how people use mobile phones in public spaces and how that affects sociability. In China, Wei focuses on the growing upper-middle class and yuppies who seek to distinguish themselves from their countrymen by having mobile phones as status symbols. Ling, Elwood-Clayton, and Ito et al. have studied the effects of mobile telephony on (youth) cultures in Norway, the Philippines, and Japan, respectively. Their findings demonstrate that users have a degree of technological ‘domestication’ (Silverstone and Hirch; Haddon) and that in many cases youth cultures have adopted mobile telecommunications almost ubiquitously leading to a recalibration of youth power within the domestic sphere. Tomita’s (2005) study of Japanese mobile telecom or keitai (‘something you carry with you’) discusses how new ICTs have facilitated new interpersonal connections and what he calls the ‘interpersonal stranger.’ Although mobile telephony allows for ubiquitous connectivity, not all relationships should be sustained. The proxy of mediation can allow some relationships to be sustained where they typically would not be in the proximate. While many of mobile telephony’s benefits include coordination of social activities, there are some negative consequences like dependency and addiction (Park; Snowden; Wilska; Benson; Ling). The Case of the Distanciated Identity Both Tomlinson (134) and Giddens (“Modernity and Self-Identity”) write of a “distanciated identity.” By this, they mean that time-space distanciation creates an era where cosmopolitanism and the global mobility of individuals threaten identity. This is what Giddens posits as ’ontological insecurity’ and Meyrowitz labels ‘no sense of place.’ Constant travel physically displaces individuals. Identity was formerly place-bound; as place devolves, identity transforms. In addition, most people develop a rapport with locations and places. Even if one has an ‘oppositional’ (Hall) view towards Los Angeles because of its crime, urban sprawl, and celebrity superficiality, one still has a relationship with it. Places provide significance which mediated environments cannot. Traditional intimacy becomes more problematic once it has been distanciated because intimacy then bears an inherent fear of abandonment. For one with a distanciated identity, to love is to love for only a short while or to disembed a lover from a locale. Both results are polemic. To be a cosmopolitan, therefore, is to sometimes experience intimacy at distance or through simulations of intimacy (Baudrillard; Bauman). In The Consequences of Modernity, Giddens outlines how modernity is not a linear process but one of constant change. Progress and globalization are not necessarily beneficial; something newer is not better than something old – only different. The Victorian ideals of linearity still permeate emotions. Thompson (215) describes the linearity of emotion in terms of a ‘coherent life-project.’ Even in the most picaresque of settings, love is a commodity that one acquires as a pivotal point along the journey towards introspection. Media convey that love is necessary for happiness. If this linear course begins to erode in the globalizing world, then love can no longer be a ‘critical juncture’ en route to self-completion. In a disjunctured, mosaic world, if love becomes nonlinear, then it can occur at various points in one’s life. Love no longer partially defines life. Intimacy becomes segments in a complex sphere of relationships and events marked more by the consumption of goods (i.e. education, employment, real estate, automobiles, jewelry, etc.) than by the passing of time. All these factors contribute to why there is an increase in clinical depression in the West, particularly by teenagers. New technologies lead some to emotional spires of depression and loneliness. Studies by Ling and Stivers do not support that the Internet creates emotional disorders, but that it exacerbates those disorders for many people. Similarly, Thompson writes of the ‘double-bind of media dependency’ whereby “the more the process of self-formation is enriched by mediated symbolic forms, the more the self becomes dependent on media systems which lie beyond its control,” (214). The studies indicate that people who are social tend to use new ICTs for coordinating social activities and expanding their scope of interests by linking with other individuals of shared social interests. Conversely, those more anti-social individuals use facets of the World Wide Web to regress from the physical world but that they actually tend to foster intense relationships with online individuals (Caplan). In this capacity, the Internet creates a space where people with little physical community gain virtual forms of community. Stable Instability At this time, I would like to put forth the notion of ‘stable instability’ as it pertains to ontological construction. For some people, to have a stable sense of self is to be in constant instable flux. The increase in the nonlinearity of time is affecting some traditional views the world. Akin to chaos theory where chaos is necessary for order, instability is now sometimes necessary for stability. An underlying factor I attribute to the growth in emotional instability is that globalization places more emphasis on the individual. The Becks (72-3) have written on the growth of individualization as a corollary of globalization. One should not misinterpret the Becks’ discussion of individualization as being about individual selfishnessm but rather as a restructuring of time around personal rather than communal schedules. Bugeja correlates this to a reduction in the value of FtF communication: he explains that time-space distanciation has led to a decline in communities, which can only rely on FtF communication to sustain themselves. In order to establish a sense of self within a vast array of ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson), one must put identity in flux. When Appadurai applies his notion of ‘disjuncture’ to personal relationships, the concept of ‘imagined worlds’ (33) arises. According to Humsinger (40), it is only through a sharing of imagined worlds that an ontological global sense is born and that “people experience stability through ceaseless movement.” Some cosmopolitans experience disjuncture in ways where the stability of ‘traditional, structured’ life is unsettling. For this reason, Gross and Simmons partially contradict Giddens’s claims about the ‘pure relationship’: Whatever one thinks of claims of affinity between contemporary culture and post-Fordist production regimes… it is not hard to imagine that people today, having become connoisseurs of experiential variety, might feel stymied by personal relationships they view as standardized and utterly predictable (552). Like McLuhan’s explanation of how the mechanical clock brought worldwide chronological order, the compressing of time mandates instability to traditional systems. Ling (181) explains how the sociological change from collective to individual complicates one’s overall role in the global system: “From the perspective of the individual, there is a freedom associated with this development [of customizable technologies], but there is also the need for the individual to do the job of placing him – or herself into the social order.” This plethora of customizable choices correlates to a disembedding of emotion whereby to gain stability as an individual is to create one’s place within an instable realm of emotional choices. New technologies allow individuals to time-shift communication. For instance, although the mobile phone facilitates ubiquitous connectivity to others, Ling explains that there is an increased desire to decline phone calls. In a consumer culture where services migrate towards ‘on demand,’ from TiVo to iTunes, the same demand-based mentalities seep into the psychology of emotions. A consumer culture has been the American mindset since the Second World War, but with a burgeoning aristocracy and middle class in China that is equally consumeristic, the need to question what constitutes emotional stability and happiness becomes paramount. Ultimately, schedules, regularity, and order challenge the mindset of the late-modern cosmopolitan. As advocates of thematic messages in TV behemoth Sex and the City elucidate, the show empowers women and puts them on equal playing ground with men by objectifying men in the ways that men have traditionally objectified women in media representations (Kim). While such an argument in the confines of female equality is both valid and crucial, a potential consequence is a group of men and women unable to construct meaningful relationships. Elina Furman recently wrote a journalistic piece “Women Who Can’t Commit?!” who outlines seven criteria why some women are as equally unwilling as men to commit to another. This disjuncture of emotion creates People On-Demand, so to speak. Click. Friendship. Scroll. Sex. It is the crux of the difference between Giddens’s (“Transformation”) Victorian ‘love of romance’ and his modern ‘pure relationship.’ The disposability of commodities in everyday life, particularly in the West but also now in the East, facilitates why some people create a disposability of intimacy. This disposability allows for instability to arise. A disjunctured, nonlinear world can no longer expect individuals to have linear love. As video media migrate to ‘on demand’ formats, it is reasonable to presume that commodities like intimacy will become equally fragmented. Stable instability arises as digital mediation eradicates FtF communities. At its crux, I am proposing that the growing instability of placelessness, distanciated identities, and ontological insecurity requires a constant nonlinear view of affection. One would then expect love to be on demand in whichever given place the cosmopolitan citizen temporarily resides. Since love and affection cannot be on demand in the same way as iTunes, there is a rise in loneliness and addictions, which Stivers elucidates. What happens when love enters the equation of the displaced cosmopolitan? There arises a discord between the stable and the instable. As Ellwood-Clayton notes in her study on mobile technologies and constructions of intimacy in the Philippines, technology provides a vehicle for already existing localized notions of love. This is also elaborated on by Raul Pertierra in his ethnographic study of the use of ICTs to establish and develop intimate relationships (particularly amongst strangers). As Pertierra observes, “CMICTs have consequences on notions of individualism and cosmopolitianism… [but] contrary to expectation, cellphones also encourage authentic relationships,” (59).The tenets of consumerism and individualism do not concur with the reciprocity and ebb and flow that traditionally exist within Victorian intimacy (Altick). This argument is not to romanticize the past; the present is not ‘better’ or ‘worse’ – only different. Part of the reason there is less happiness is because lives are more dependent on mediation (Lupton 1998) and the discord of stable love discombobulates the instability of cosmopolitanism and globalism. Conclusion Although examples have been made to demonstrate how globalization creates opportunities to threaten personal relationships, this paper does not advocate that globalization is eroding personal relationships. The goal has been to elucidate how the compression of time and space has led to an intensification of mediation, best visible through new ICTs. The optimistic possibilities of globalization also carry numerous emotional pitfalls like Internet-related depression and loneliness, as well as the formation of ‘stable instability.’ Negotiations over which medium one employs affects relationships in late modernity. While this essay poses some new concepts, the ideas themselves are not so much new as redirected. The ubiquitous consumer-based lifestyle that typifies some twenty-first-century cosmopolitans has aided creating an atmosphere of disposable relationships. The once-venerated Victorian love ceases to function in this ‘disjunctured’ cosmos of ‘imagined worlds’ where mediated interactions lead to an increase in placelessness and an erosion of ‘ontological security.’ This paper has argued that the non-linear nature of globalization mandates a recalibration of personal relationships. 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