Rice, R.E., & Katz, J. (2003). Mobile discourtesy: National survey
results on episodes of convergent public and private spheres. In
N. (Eds), Mobile democracy: Essays on society, self and politics
53-64). Vienna: Passagen Verlag.
Because it involves speaking and concentration,
phone usage also represents a new incursion of the private into the
(as opposed to the more critiqued incursion of the public/corporate
the private realm of home and relationships). Indeed, we find
more evidence of perceived thoughtlessness of generalized others using
their mobile phones in public (especially while driving, but also in
movies and other public places) (67%) than of one’s own
(around 10%). And, even those thoughtless uses are more perceived
by those who have satisfying communication with their socially close
have children, and use the phone less frequently to communicate with
spouse/bestfriend. It seems likely that use by one’s
is perceived and evaluated in the context of a private setting, and
seen as less thoughtless, even while others are perceiving that very
interaction as a thoughtless incursion into their public setting.
In this sense, we have some preliminary evidence of a convergence of
public and the private, with the private interaction trumping the
peace, as well as perceptions of behaviors.
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