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The dark side of mobile phones

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posted on 2023-08-04, 05:39 authored by Naomi S. Baron

Mobile phones enable people to communicate when, where, and with whom they wish. However, users are often troubled to find themselves at the beck and call of others. To gauge attitudes towards mobiles, students from universities in five countries were asked what they liked most and liked least about having a mobile phone. Responses across all countries indicated that communication was both what subjects liked most and least – enjoying the ability to contact others but feeling trapped by interlocutors’ ability to always contact them. Concerns about dependency on the device paralleled intensity of usage. Among the distinctions found between countries, some were attributable to variation in available technology, while others appear to reflect cultural factors.



New Media and Society


A revised version of this article appeared under the title “Concerns about Mobile Phones: A Cross-National Study” in Baron, 2011. “Concerns about Mobile Phones: A Cross-National Study,” First Monday, Vol. 16, no. 8, August 1.


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