Always Connected: A Longitudinal Field Study of Mobile Communication

Oscar Peters, Soumaya Ben Allouch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Twenty-five novice users of a new mobile communication device, allowing them to be always connected to their e-mail, e-calendar and organizer via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), were closely tracked for a period of three months. The benefits of being always connected, to be accessible at all times and places make technology-enabled people almost automatically adapt the new mobile communication device to their daily lives for both instrumental and intrinsic uses. The results of this longitudinal field study suggest that people’s motivations for using mobile communication technology are initially influenced more strongly by their perceptions about the expected use, which is more task-oriented. Over time, due to the quick habituation of the new mobile communication device important, initial gratifications, like permanent access and social interaction, appear to be less manifest reasons for using the mobile communication device and become more latent, while gratifications like fashion/status and entertainment appear to become more dominant. Moreover, the boundary between work and personal life slowly disappears as people can easily use mobile communication technology simultaneously for personal and business purposes in both social and work-related contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Event54th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, ICA 2004: Communication Research in the Public Interest - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 27 May 200431 May 2004
Conference number: 54


Conference54th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, ICA 2004
Abbreviated titleICA
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


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