The Reconstruction of Space and Time
Mobile Communication Practices
One of the most significant and obvious examples of how mobile communication influences our understanding of time and space is how we coordinate with one another. Mobile communication enables us to call specific individuals, not general places. Regardless of location, we are able to make contact with almost anyone, almost anywhere. This advancement has changed, and continues to change, human interaction. Now, instead of agreeing on a particular time well beforehand, we can iteratively work out the most convenient time and place to meet at the last possible moment on the way to the meeting or once we arrive at the destination.
In their early days, mobile devices were primarily used for various types of emergency situations and for work. In some cases, the device was an essential element in various business operations or used so that overseas workers could communicate with their families. The distance between a remote posting and the people back home was suddenly and dramatically reduced. People began to share these devices not necessarily out of economic issues, but also questions of family and interpersonal dynamics.
This cutting-edge book deals with modern ways of thinking about communication and human interaction; it will illuminate the ways in which mobile communication alters our experience with space and time.
“Rich Ling and Scott Campbell’s excellent edited book surveys the mobile revolution that is a key component in the networked operating system that has swept the world. . . . Ling and Campbell call their book “The Reconstruction of Space and Time.” But it is more than that. The book documents the early stages of the triple revolution: how mobile phones are going beyond being instruments of chat to becoming powerful tools of personal empowerment along with the Internet revolution and the turn from groups to social networks.”
—Barry Wellman, Contemporary Sociology
“[T]his is a very strong collection of essays on the many different ways in which space and time are ‘reconstructed’ through mobile phone use. Reconstruction is not the first book to examine these issues, but it is nonetheless significant for the additional depth, detail and insight it brings to present understandings of the spatial and temporal dimensions and impacts of mobile phone use. . . . The breadth and depth of the research methods on display here are truly impressive, and this collection will form a rich and invaluable toolbox of ideas for future mobile and ICT researchers and students.”
—Rowan Wilken, Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy
“This is a really great collection that indexes just how interesting and sophisticated the analysis of mobile communications has now become. The various authors are at the cutting edge of analyses of the contemporary reorderings of time and space in a mobile world.”
— John Urry, Lancaster University (UK)