College or School
Faculty Research Advisor
The use of mobile devices has invaded our private spaces and our public spaces alike. “Mobile devices have changed human communication profoundly, freeing it from the ancient constraints of physical proximity and spatial immobility,” Croissant asserts. These mobile devices bring the public into the private and the private into the public. They have given as access to a vast amount of information that we never had before, they have made the spread of information very fast and convenient too. At the comfort of your room, messages could be sent across the global and back before you could say “Jack Robinson.” That is the power these devices possess. One might be tempted to paint an all “rosy” picture of these devices but we cannot fail to ignore the extent to which the use of these devices has altered how we relate to each other and our environment at large. Every new technology gives you something but also makes sure to take something in return. These devices promise us of “bringing us together,” and yes they have in many ways than one but in so doing, they have taken us away from our immediate environment and focused our attention on the far distant place. Private spaces most often are spaces for self-reflection and quietness away from the sight of the public but we are no longer alone in our private spaces, these devices invite uninvited quest into our spaces with or without our concern. The public space has seen much of the effects of the use of mobile devices. This idea of media in place as Paul C. Adams discusses in his book “Geographies of Media & Communication,” is what my research is based on. The idea that “when a particular communication [device] becomes a part of a place, it alters the embodied experience of that place and the place will never be the same without it,” is my motivation for this paper. In an attempt to answer the question “How does the use of Mobile Media alter how we relate to public spaces,” I argue that the use of mobile devices has altered how users relate to public spaces by giving users undue private sense of power “as the ability to influence and control events” (Folger, 2013) which they exert in public space partly due to the fact that mobile device usage is considered a “private affair,” (D, 2015). It has also allowed users to be physically present in public spaces but mentally absent by their ability to access social media sites, and finally it has altered the interpersonal relationships between people in public spaces.
Gbeve, Nelson A., "How the Use of Mobile Devices has Altered How We Relate to Public Spaces" (2016). Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Student Presentations. 21.