Monday, January 25, 2010

Micro co-ordination

On Friday I found myself syphoning colleagues from 3 different trains into 2 different minibuses in order to make a decent start for Seminar 3. It was really easy to do this as well as to reassure Tetra back at the university that everything was in hand! Easy because of the way in which mobile phones facilitate micro-coordination. That, and the fact that we had a presntation on phones, led me think how taken-for-granted the mobile has become. It's a potent symbol of connection (often laid on the table in face-to-face interaction as if to represent wider networks) and it's also a talisman of security (when you're alone, in the dark, or about to break down, or all three). Writing about mobile connectivity, Gergen notes how phones 'emphasise and underscore the importance of connection as opposed to autonomy, looking outward rather than inward; toward network as opposed to self-sufficiency ... With the mobile phone the relational net is always at hand ... As a material object, the mobile phone functions as an icon of relationship, of techno-umbilical connection. The Enlightenment paen to individualism, "I think therefore I am" is replaced with "I'm linked therefore I am". (Gergen 2002:109)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of syphoning academics!