Shibuya Epiphany

SmartMobs (The next social revolution)

[Shibuya Epiphany] –continued

The term “swarming” is used to define a network-negotiated public flocking behaviour of texting adolescents. This mobile technology gives the users the freedom to aggregate in ad-hoc networks.

Internet Relay Chat was invented by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988; Linux; SMS… The source of the power of these new mediums relays in the support and propagation of social networks. Pirjo Rautianen started collecting data about SMS : he thinks that SMS are the backdoors for communication. Then Rheingold reports on a Finnish project trying to build a “shared urban living space” that combines physical location, virtual communities, mobile social network and a co-operative organisation (CL?). (An example is the It’s Alive project: a location-based mobile game.) Approaching the study of the impact of mobiles on groups, some issues emerge: 1. the level of the individual personality, where cognitive and identity related issues; 2. the level of the immediate social network where place and community related issues; 3. the level of the society, where emergent effects of individual usage may influence.
Social theorist Erving Goffman says that using SMS, teen can choose who to send and how to respond, and this is raw material for identity and group shaping activities. Using the mobile phones they can differentiate themselves from family or household relations, and contribute to a growing sense of independence and collectivity. In addition, when I am on the phone I am simultaneously in two places: the space of the conversation (virtual) and the physical space which I occupy (physical). Mizuko ITO talks about identity construction.

“Draw your own conclusions, but draw them in pencil so you can go back and change them later.”

-Jon Welte

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