Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 267–296 | Cite as

The Gift of the Gab?: A Design Oriented Sociology of Young People's Use of Mobiles

  • Alex S. Taylor
  • Richard Harper
Article

Abstract

This paper reports ethnographically informedobservations of the use of mobile phones andtext messaging services amongst young people.It offers a sociological explanation for thepopularity of text messaging and for thesharing of mobile phones between co-proximatepersons. Specifically, it reveals that youngpeople use mobile phone content and the phonesthemselves to participate in the practices ofgift exchange. By viewing mobile phone use inthis way, the paper suggests a number ofpossibilities for future phone-basedapplications and supporting hardware.

design ethnography mobile phones mobiles phones short messaging SMS teenagers texting texters young people 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex S. Taylor
    • 1
  • Richard Harper
    • 1
  1. 1.Digital World Research CentreUniversity of SurreyGuildfordEngland, UK

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