Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 190–205 | Cite as

Social Differences in CMC: a Case Study of Japanese Mobile Phone E-mail

  • Noboru Sakai
Brief Report


This study investigates how people in different social groups use computer-mediated communication (CMC) in their communication, using Japanese mobile phone e-mail exchanges as an example. The data corpus for this study—43,295 mails for communication purposes from 60 Japanese young people—is analysed, including non-parametric statistical analysis (Mann-Whitney U test and Steel-Dwass test). As for intergroup differences, Keitai-mail are found to be used differently by different age and gender groups. Women create longer texts with more emoticons and non-standard usage of language than men do. At the same time, they also change their style of composition based on the interlocutors’ gender. These differences suggest that code-switching is actively applied in Keitai-mail communication. Other differences found among different gender and age groups relate to what kind of topics they mainly discuss in Keitai-mail: the topics which they generally choose or which are even unconsciously chosen are reflections of their lifestyle. This study illustrates the different uses of a CMC practice based on users’ properties, and further experimental studies (e.g. structural equation modelling) will elucidate more detailed mechanisms of communication practices, or longitude clinical research will evaluate the factors relating to CMC how critical and prolonged they are, with better treatment outcomes.


Computer-mediated communication (CMC) Japanese Mobile phone E-mail Social differences 



This paper is based on my Ph.D. dissertation, and I would like to show my appreciation to Emeritus Professor Nanette Gottlieb Dr. Yuriko Nagata and Dr. Michael Harrington. In addition, I would like to extend my thanks to Emeritus Professor Nanette Gottlieb, the University of Queensland, for proofreading this work.

Funding Information

This research project was supported by several scholarships and a research grant: the University of Queensland, the Faculty of Arts International Scholarship; Nanette Gottlieb’s Australian Professorial Fellowship funded by the Australian Research Council; Tokyo Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Queensland’s Behavioural & Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (Ethical clearance number 17-08) with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tamagawa UniveristyTokyoJapan

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