Mobile Phones, Japanes youth, and the Re-placement of social contact – Mizuko Ito

I found this reading particularly interesting. At first, Mizuko Ito explains the research in which i found it particularly similar to the research assessment that was handed to us as the research included the ‘diaries’ that our subject had to fill out. The concept of the research was very similar in the way that the data collection style was almost identical and is used for analysis.
The author states that mobile phones

is often perceived as an emblematic technology of space-time consumption, touted as a tool for anytime, anywhere connectivity

which on some scale i believe is true. This is due to the fact that in my own research i found that mobile phone was the most used media-type which was relied on for even simple things such as the time.

This article states that despite mobile phones being invented primarily for business users, it soon found its popularity within youths, particularly those in high school or college. It is also mentioned, that despite the fact that the mobile phone allows youth to stay connected to friends , to be connected to technology & fashion trends- a big factor of mobile phone use is due top the fact that mobile phones allows them to have their own privacy without the invasion of their parents of siblings especially as Japan is theoretically known to be a place with ‘adult-controlled institutions and space of activity’.

As i read on, i realised that although Japan is a completely different countries, there are still many similarities between our use of the mobile phones, such as the fact that the mobile phone is there as it is a ‘way of overcoming the spatial boundary of home, for teens to talk with each other late at night and shut out their parents and siblings’.

Then, there is a significant difference, especially the use of a mobile phone in public spaces, such as the fact that commuters are constantly reminded to either ‘turn off’ their mobile phones or put it on silent and refrain themselves from making voice calls. Which is why mobile e-mail- in our context; texting- is very popular as it is ‘ideal for use in public spaces’.

When confronting these similarities and differences, i came to realize that they- the Japanese youth, are not so different to ourselves, in a way that we both rely on technology especially our mobile phones, but are more restricted in using the mobile phone due to the cultural concepts. This is what i found very interesting about this article, the fact that it stimulates the comparison of our media use within our own country and theirs.

But hey, when mobile phones look like this:

and can do anything from e-mailing to ordering a drink why wouldn’t it be popular? ( especially with teens)


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