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Emotional attachment and mobile phones


This article has provided, through reference to recent research, insights into the ways that people are using their mobile phones in their everyday lives and in particular it has explored and examined the concept of emotional attachment to the mobile phone. In offering some explanations for this seemingly unique behaviour it has highlighted the role of the social groups or buddy groups as the focus for the emotional attachment. The constant changes that occur in people’s everyday lives frequently involve the use of mobile phones—even if the people do not have one of their own. The rearranging of appointments, the casual setting up of new ones, the relationships between lovers conducted by text and the reassuring contact between families all have some effect on the individual’s autopoiesis. The multiple roles of the mobile phone in everyday life adds to the complexity of the debate but underlying the functional purposes is this constant and increasing emotional attachment. The assertion that this is in part due to the senses being pierced by all that the device engenders offers some explanation for this emotional attachment and is certainly an area for further study within the mobile communications social sciences and engineering communities.

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Specialising in the social shaping of mobile communications, she is also studying for a PhD. Prior to joining DWRC in 2001 she worked for twenty years in the European mobile communications industry.

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Vincent, J. Emotional attachment and mobile phones. Know Techn Pol 19, 39–44 (2006).

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  • Mobile Phone
  • Mobile Communication
  • Emotional Attachment
  • Universal Mobile Telecommunication System
  • Mobile Phone User